Firefighters issue warning after reports of people using hairdryers and cooking hobs to stay warm

Concerned firefighters have warned residents they are putting their homes at risk of fire – by using hairdryers and their cooking hob to stay warm.

Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS) have warned families trying to stay warm this winter to take care using alternative heating methods.

In recent months the Service have called on people to take care using electric blankets, portable heaters and fire places.

But now they have revealed they have visited homes where residents have been adopting dangerous methods to stay warm.

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

While at another home 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.”

If you’re worried about your smoke alarm not working or where it’s placed, get in touch with TWFRS and get your smoke alarm checked, or a new one fitted.

You can request a Safe and Well Check, which includes the fitting of free smoke alarms and advice to protect your home from fire, by calling TWFRS on their freephone number 0800 032 7777 or fill in their online form.