Fears of rising house fires amid cost of living crisis

A fire started by a candle rips through a home Credit: West Midlands Fire Service

Fire crews are warning people are turning to potentially lethal forms of heating and lighting their homes to try to drive down their energy bills.

Research shows the number of house fires caused by candles has hit its highest level in more than a decade, with 940 blazes in England in the year to March.

Now there are fears the rising cost of energy could trigger a further increase.

In Lincolnshire, a quarter of all fires are already caused by poor heating systems and firefighters in the county say fewer people may now be able to heat their homes safely or resort to candles for lighting.

Dan Moss, Area Manager at Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue said: "We recognise that families are going to have some difficult decisions to make with the cost of living crisis, and it's very much about us trying to support them.

"So when they are thinking about heating their homes, it's doing it safely, it's working smoke detection, it's carbon monoxide detection, and it's about taking some of those decisions with safety in mind."

The National Fire Chiefs Council has launched a new campaign called 'Stay Fire Safe' to warn people about the risks of alternative energy sources.

It is encouraging people to take an online home safety fire check, not just for themselves but also their loved ones.

Rick Hylton, from the National Fire Chiefs Council said: "It is entirely possible individuals and families who would never consider themselves as vulnerable in the home could move into that bracket, as they make changes at home – increasing their risk of fire.

"We absolutely acknowledge that many may be doing things differently as they face difficult decisions as the weather changes. We hope our new campaign will help to highlight the dangers, offer simple solutions and help keep loved ones safer in their homes."