Firefighters warn against dangerous ways to stay warm after residents use hobs and hairdryers

Leaving a hob on could be a fire risk - in this case a kitchen fire was caused when some towels left nearby caught alight. Credit: Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service

Firefighters have warned residents they could be putting their homes at risk of fire by using unconventional means to stay warm.

In recent months, Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS) has called on people to take care when using electric blankets, portable heaters and fire places.

But now they have disclosed instances where residents have been adopting dangerous methods to heat their homes.

At one property, they spoke to a resident who left their gas hobs alight to try and generate some heat.

Elsewhere, they spoke to a woman who had been using her hairdryer to try and combat the chilly weather.

Karen Soady, TWFRS prevention and education manager, said the heating methods were dangerous – but could also cost residents more money.

She said: “It has been extremely concerning to hear some of the alternative heating methods residents have been adopting.

“We know that this winter has been incredibly difficult for our communities with the combination of cold weather and rising energy prices.

“Thankfully we have not had any serious fires as a result of people trying to find different ways to heat their homes but we have heard concerning stories.

“Attempting to stay warm using gas hobs and a hairdryer is not only really dangerous, but it could cost you more than conventional heating methods.

“Prolonged use of electrical items can cause them to overheat and catch fire, while leaving gas hobs on can easily lead to accidental fires.

“Please heed our advice, look out for friends and family, and if you need our support then don’t hesitate to get in touch.”

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To know...