The capital’s Fire Brigade has warned against using candles for heating after a YouTube video demonstrating a candle-powered convection heater went viral.
The heater uses a combination of tea lights, a loaf tin and flower pots.
Senior Brigade officers are concerned that rising fuel bills and increasingly colder weather will prompt households to copy the video’s creator.
They’re warning that such systems can be unsafe and cause fires which quickly spread out of control – often with fatal consequences.
Station Manager Charlie Pugsley, from the Brigade’s fire investigation team, said he sees “dozens of fires every year, including fatal fires, that are caused by people using alternative forms of heating and lighting, most of which include a naked flame.”
He added: “Candles and tea lights can be extremely dangerous – a small gust of wind can cause an innocent candle flame to set light to objects nearby if left too close.
“We understand that some people may be struggling to pay fuel bills, but we’d urge everyone to think carefully about their safety and the safety of those around them before using candles to heat their homes.”
The Brigade has issued the following safety advice:
• Candles need to be used in a safe, fire resistant holder or container – as you can see in the video, the flower pot would only need the slightest knock to cause it and the candles to fall.
• Candles need to be supervised at all times – so blow them out if you need to leave the room.
• Don’t cover candles with anything – anything placed over a candle flame will get very hot, and could melt or catch fire.
• Stick to radiators and if you’re especially cold, a hot water bottle is a much safer alternative.