Three serious fires caused by heaters this month has prompted firefighters to issue a warning about the electrical items – which have claimed the lives of seven people since 2012.
As temperatures drop, the London Fire Brigade (LFB) is urging people not to leave fabric too close to their heaters, something which has injured 164 people in the last five years.
Fire typically starts when bedding, blankets or clothes are placed too close to electrical heaters, a spokesman for the Brigade said on Wednesday (November 29).
Dan Daly, the assistant commissioner for fire safety at LFB, issued fire prevention advice as forecasters announce Londoners will be experiencing colder temperatures.
He said: “When it gets cold, instinctively we might want to pull heaters up close, but blankets and duvets or other material getting too close to heaters is a dangerous fire risk.
“Shockingly, almost 60% 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 are kept well away from objects and materials that might cause a fire. Never use one to dry your clothes.
“Those with mobility issues are especially at risk of tripping or falling onto a heater so placing them at a safe distance is all the more important.”
New figures released by the Brigade suggest that, over the past five years, 819 fires were caused by electrical heaters in the capital.
Despite heaters only starting around 3% of London's electrical fires, a third of those resulted in a fatality, the LFB spokesman said.
Mr Daly added: “Although the stats focus on electric heaters, we should not forget that other heaters such as gas and open fires carry an equal fire risk if not used correctly.
“Homeowners should always make sure their heaters are checked regularly and are well maintained.”
For advice on how to prevent fires starting in your home this winter, click here .
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