As temperatures drop firefighters are warning Londoners of the dangers of hunkering down ‘Hygge style.’
The Danish concept meaning to live cosily has sparked a trend in the UK. However, firefighters have warned that typical Hygge trends such as snuggling in blankets next to candles and heaters are a real fire risk.
Last year firefighters attended 340 fires in London caused by candles, heaters and electric blankets.
Candles are easy to forget
Deputy Assistant Commissioner for Fire Safety Charlie Pugsley explains the risks associated with Hygge :
“When temperatures dive, it’s natural to want to create a cosy atmosphere but those extra blankets , heaters and candles can be a real fire risk. We are especially concerned about portable electric heaters, all too often we see stray bedding or furniture being too close to heaters and catching fire.
"While it’s cosy to use candles, they are one of the leading causes of fires and it’s easy to forget about them when you are snoozing on the sofa.
“I normally avoid candles in my home but if you must use them, never leave them on while you are sleeping or out of the room and always ensure they are away from curtains, blankets and furniture. Remember, tea lights need to be sitting in or on a proper fire proof holder – just leaving them burning in their foil cups poses a real fire risk. "
Hygge safety tips
- Always sit at least one metre away from a heater as it could set light to your clothes or chair. The elderly may be particularly susceptible to burns from sitting too close to a portable heater.
- Keep heaters well away from clothes, curtains and furniture and never use them for drying clothes.
- Regularly service heaters and boilers, do not to block vents or flues as this can cause a deadly build up of carbon monoxide. If you have gas appliances or use open fires etc., ensure that you have a working carbon monoxide alarm.
- Make sure heaters are well maintained and in good working order.
- Don't take risks with old heaters – if it's electrical and getting older, get it tested by a qualified electrician or buy a new one.
- Where appropriate, secure heaters against a wall to stop them falling over, or fit wall-mounted heaters.
Make sure you put out any candles, incense and oil burners when you leave the room and especially before bed.
- Keep candles away from materials that might catch fire – that's things like curtains, furniture, clothes and hair.
- Be especially careful if you have a lot of flammable items in your home, like collections of books, magazines or papers.
- Be aware that tea lights get very hot and without proper holders can melt through plastic surfaces like a TV or bath.
- To avoid accidents keep candles and other naked flames out of reach of children and pets.
- LED candles can be a great alternative – they're safe even if you fall asleep or forget to blow them out.