Russell Hobbs, manufacturer of household irons, has issued a customer recall of 15 of its models following reports that its irons had caught fire during use. Customers reported on social media that their irons had burst into flames injuring them or their family members. It is thought that thousands of products are affected and customers have been advised to stop using the products immediately.

A statement from Russell Hobbs said: “As part of our ongoing quality monitoring program, we have identified an issue with a small number of our irons, that may carry a risk that the flex may fail.” Tim Wright, the vice-president of Spectrum Brands, Russell Hobbs’s parent company, admitted that the firm discovered the problem 18 months ago.

Arran Macleod, a Penningtons Manches personal injury lawyer who deals with product liability claims for injured consumers, said: ‘”This is very worrying news. Many households own and use Russell Hobbs irons on a daily basis and the fact that such a fundamental product in everyday living could cause serious injury is unacceptable. Of more concern, however, is that the defect appears to have been known about for over a year but consumers had not been warned of the possible dangers. As a result, some people have suffered avoidable injuries.

“Manufacturers are under a duty of strict liability where customers suffer injury as a result of a defective product and anyone who has suffered an injury as a result of this defect is likely to have a claim for compensation in this instance. We deal regularly with consumers who have suffered injury as a result of defective products and would be happy to speak with anyone who has suffered an injury from these irons.”