London Fire Brigade has warned that the release of the film Fifty Shades Of Grey will lead to an increase in call-outs to kinky domestic dilemmas.
"In 2013/14, fire fighters attended 472 incidents involving people being trapped or stuck, often in everyday household items. This has steadily increased year on year since the Fifty Shades of Grey books were release" they said.
Now, the movie adaption of EL James's steamy novel - released this week in cinemas across the capital - is expected to encourage many more Londoners to experiment in kinky activities they have little or no experience of.
In response to call-outs to EL James-inspired scenarios gone wrong, fire chiefs launched the Fifty Shades of Red campaign. The hope was to increase awareness of what can go wrong in the search for bedroom spice. Despite wide coverage of the campaign the Brigade are still called to more than one embarrassing incident every day.
"For example, in November last year fire fighters came to the rescue of a man forced to undergo surgery to remove two metal rings that had been stuck on his member for three days. The man attended accident and emergency at Kings College Hospital in the early hours but when doctors found they couldn't remove the steel rings they called the Brigade. Two fire fighters scrubbed up and removed the rings using pedal cutters - a hydraulic handheld piece of cutting equipment" said the fire service.
Third Officer, Dave Brown, said: "The Fifty Shades effect seems to spike handcuff incidents so we hope film goers will use common sense and avoid leaving themselves red faced."
"I'd like to remind everyone that 999 is an emergency number and should only be used as such. If there's a genuine emergency, fire crews will of course attend and will be on the scene to help within minutes".
The Brigade said that in the past its crews have been called to a man whose member was stuck in a toaster, and another with his trapped in a vacuum cleaner.
People getting into a jam with rings, bracelets and watches are a common occurrence, while fire fighters are also regularly called to assist people and children with their fingers trapped in electrical items like washing machines, sewing machines and heaters.
The most common type of call out for this type of incident is to people with rings stuck on their fingers.
"Our advice is simple", said a Brigade spokesperson, "If the ring doesn't fit, don't force it on. As well as being painful, you could end up wasting emergency service time if you have to call us out".
Between April 2014 and February 2015 there have been 393 incidents and in spite of the warnings about unnecessary callouts, the service is keen to stress that people should call them when things do go wrong:
"Despite the unusual nature of some of the incidents, the Brigade was keen to stress that people should always call 999 in the case of a genuine emergency" said their press release today.
Official 50 Shades of Grey advice from the London Fire Brigade:
- Common sense is needed - if it doesn't look safe, it probably isn't, so don't do it!
- If you use handcuffs, always keep the keys handy
- Fingers and electrical appliances don't mix, especially those with blades
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