Which? survey finds household appliances to blame for almost 12,000 fires in three years

The group is urging people to register their appliances with manufacturers so they can be alerted of any recalls

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The Independent Online

A survey by consumer group Which? has found that malfunctioning household appliances are to blame for almost 12,000 fires in Britain in over just three years.

Washing machines, tumble dryers and dishwashers were the most likely items to cause a fire, research suggested.

Government figures which cover January 2011 to March 2014, show that domestic fires were caused by appliances that were "faulty, incorrectly installed or improperly maintained".

It was found that more Hoover washing machines and Hotpoint dishwashers caught fire than Which? would "necessarily expect".

175 Hoover washing machines caught fire between January 2011 and March 2014, while Hotpoint accounted for 38 per cent (410) of dishwasher fires recorded where the brand could be identified.

The top six appliances which caused the most fires are as follows:

Washing machines: 14 per cent

Tumble dryers: 12 per cent

Dishwashers: 11 per cent

Cookers: 9 per cent

Central heating: 5 per cent

Irons: 1 per cent

Which? executive director Richard Lloyd said it was "shocking" that some everyday household appliances could pose "such a danger".

"More needs to be done to protect consumers from this risk and it’s crucial that products known to be dangerous are recalled as quickly as possible," he added.

Government advice warns against leaving electrical appliances such as washing machines and dishwashers on overnight.

Which? is urging people to register their appliances with manufacturers so they can be alerted of any recalls.

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