London’s fire chiefs are warning households over the dangers of using portable electric heaters.
New figures released by the London Fire Brigade (LFB) show that 11 people died and a further 80 were injured over the past five winters in fires caused by electric heaters.
The Brigade is most concerned about the risks associated with portable heaters which it says are “disproportionately likely” to cause fires which result in death.
Despite heaters starting only five per cent of the capital’s electrical fires they are involved in a third of fatal incidents.
The Brigade’s Dave Brown said: “Portable electric heaters used properly will heat a room brilliantly but they should never be used to dry your smalls or socks.
“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.”
The LFB has issued the following advice to those who rely on portable heaters for warmth:
• Never sit too close to the heater as you could set light to your clothes or chair, especially if you fall asleep.
• Heaters should stand where they can’t be knocked over, away from beds, furniture and fabrics.
• Do not put anything on the heater or use it to dry clothes.