Cookies on the London Fire Brigade website

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. To find out more or to learn how to change your computer settings on our cookies page.

Last updated: 09/07/2018, 6:19 PM

Leaking dry shampoo can causes subsonic explosion at Notting Hill flat

20/09/2017 21:04
Kensington and Chelsea
House or flat fire

Firefighters are warning people not to place aerosol cans close to heat sources after a leaking dry shampoo can overheated and caused a small explosion in the bathroom of a house in Ladbroke Square in Notting Hill yesterday evening (Tuesday).

The can ignited and caused a subsonic explosion - an explosion which starts slowly and then gets faster - after the overhead heater was turned on. The force of the explosion caused the window of the bathroom to blow out of it's frame.

The small fire that resulted following the explosion was extinguished before the Brigade arrived. Thankfully the occupant, who was in the bathroom at the time of the incident, was uninjured.

Group Manager Simon Tuhill, who was at the scene, said: “Any cans which contain a compressed gas should be kept clear from any heat sources, whether it be heaters or candles.

“Heaters being placed too close to flammable materials and objects cause several fires and deaths a year so it is important to follow our heater advice.”

Portable heaters and fires

  • Secure heaters against a wall to stop them falling over, or fit wall-mounted heaters
  • Keep heaters away from clothes, curtains and furniture
  • Sit at least one metre away from a heater as it could set light to your clothes or chair, especially if you fall asleep
  • Always turn off your heater and allow it to cool before moving it
  • Change gas heater cylinders in the open air, or open windows and doors if you have to change them indoors
  • Store spare cylinders upright and outside, whenever possible. Never store them in basements, under stairs or in cupboards containing electric meters or equipment

Three fire engines and around 15 firefighters from Fulham, Hammersmith and Chelsea fire stations attended the incident. The Brigade was called at 2104 and the incident was over by 2154.