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Heater warning from London Fire Brigade

PUBLISHED: 08:58 09 December 2014 | UPDATED: 08:58 09 December 2014

Fire engines were  called to the scene

Fire engines were called to the scene

Archant

The brigade is warning people to take care when using electric heaters as cold weather sets in

As the cold weather bites London Fire Brigade is warning people to take extra care with their electric heaters.

The brigade warns that a third of fatal electrical fires involve heaters, with a total of 10 deaths over the past five winters. The brigade warns that portable heaters are most likely to start fires, because many of the blazes happen when fires are placed near clothes or furniture.

London Fire Commissioner Ron Dobson said: “As it gets colder, the temptation is to huddle closer to your heater but that could be a fatal mistake. Shockingly, over two thirds of fatal fires involving heaters are caused by clothing or furniture being too close. People need to make sure their portable heaters are standing upright and kept well away from clothes, curtains or furniture.

”Portable heaters should never be used to dry clothes or placed too close to bedding. This is even more important with the Fire Brigades’ Union set to strike.”

The Electrical Safety First (ESF) – a charity dedicated to reducing deaths and injuries caused by electrical accidents – supports the advice.

Emma Apter at Electrical Safety First said: “Having a warm home this winter is something everyone deserves, so we welcome electric heaters as a cheaper option at a time when energy costs are high. However, it is vital that the dangers associated with these items are understood – particularly as people are putting themselves and their loved ones at risk by using them in an unsafe way. By following this short, simple guidance, people can stay safe and stay warm this winter.”

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