Fire crews warn of 'dangerous TikTok trend' after blaze breaks out in Bristol

DIY videos on how to create 'heaters' using terracotta pots and candle have gone viral Credit: TikTok

Fire crews have issued a warning after a new social media trend has been recommending the use of candles to keep warm.

There has been a surge in 'life hack' videos being posted on social media showing candles placed in terracotta plant pots to generate heat.

Under the hashtag 'HeatingHacks' and 'TeracottaPotHeat' these videos have racked up more than a million views on TikTok.

Avon Fire and Rescue Service (AF&RS) has shared its concern after firefighters from Kingswood and Hicks Gate attended an incident over the weekend thought to have been caused by an unattended candle.

Ben Thompson, Temporary Group Manager for Risk Reduction at AF&RS, said: "This was an unfortunate incident which thankfully ended with minimal harm to the occupants of the property.

"Social media and so called ‘life hacks’ are encouraging people to create heating devices using household items such as plant pots and candles.

"These are dangerous, unregulated, and are liable to cause damage and injury.

"Candles should only be used according to the manufacturer’s instructions and using them in different ways can result in nasty accidents."

TikTok has been approached for a comment.

Here is the advice issued by Avon Fire and Rescue Service about lighting candles at home:

• Never leave burning candles unattended.• Place your candles carefully. Make sure they are on a stable surface, out of the reach of pets and children, and keep them away from flammable objects like curtains, furniture, bedding and books.• Don’t move candles once they are lit.• Do not burn several candles close together as this might cause the flame to flare.• Burn candles in a well-ventilated room, out of draughts, vents or air currents. This will help prevent rapid or uneven burning, soot, and dripping.• Always put scented candles in a heat resistant holder. These candles are designed to liquefy when heated to maximise fragrance.• Fit a smoke alarm and test it regularly. A working smoke alarm can buy you valuable time to get out, stay out and call 999.• Make sure that everyone in your home knows what to do if a fire should occur - practise your escape route.

For more advice on using candles safely at home you can read Avon Fire and Rescue Service's Home Fire Safety Checker tool online.