London Fire Brigade issue warning over people using camping stoves and barbecues indoors in bid to cut energy bills | UK News


Fire chiefs have warned people not to use camping stoves or barbeques indoors as a way to cut down on energy costs.

London Fire Brigade (LFB) say using such equipment poses a risk of fire and the danger of carbon monoxide poisoning.

The warning comes after other fire services raised the alarm about social media “life hack” videos encouraging people to use improvised heating devices to save money amid the UK’s cost-of-living crisis.

“It might be tempting to use a camping stove or barbecue indoors to save on energy costs, but doing so is not only a fire risk, it could also lead to carbon monoxide poisoning,” LFB said in a post on Twitter.

“Only use these items outdoors.”

Last February, after power cuts caused by Storm Eunice, firefighters were called to a carbon monoxide incident caused by a resident using a gas barbecue indoors.

It comes after a similar warning in Derbyshire, where firefighters tackled a blaze sparked by an improvised heating device made with tealights.

Fire chiefs warned people not to make the devices, which have become popularised in “life hack” videos on social media sites, including TikTok.

Around 50 people had to be evacuated from their homes after the blaze broke out in Gower Street, Derby, but nobody was injured.

Derbyshire Fire and Rescue station manager Barclay Masterson, said: “Although these hacks may look like a good way to save money on heating bills, they are very dangerous and we would urge people not to follow the videos posted online.

Read more:
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“Candles and tea lights increase the risk of fire in your home and should not be used for anything other than their intended purpose.

“They should be put in heat-resistant holders that hold the candle or tea light firmly and placed on a flat, stable and heat-resistant surface.

“On this occasion, the heat released from the base of the tea lights was enough to weaken the terracotta plates they were placed on, causing the homemade device to collapse and the melted wax to ignite.

“Using tea lights like this could also cause serious burn injuries, not only from the heated terracotta pots but from the naked flames produced.”

A spokesperson for Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service (DFRS) added: “Hacks like this claim to save you money but instead you risk your life.”

In September, East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service (ESFRS) said it was alarmed by online videos showing unconventional suggestions on how to cut energy bills.

Darren Grubb, an engagement manager with the force, said: “We’ve heard of people bringing their barbecue indoors because they’ve already got the fuel, or using gas stoves.

“There’s a TikTok video going around showing how to boil water with tealights.

“All of these produce a heightened risk of fires in homes.”


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