According to the London Fire Brigade (LFB), rising energy costs could lead to a rise in domestic fires, as people have to look for other ways to heat their homes.
The stark warning was prompted by a severe house fire in New Malden at the end of April, which occurred as the result of “An open fire can be used in place of central heating gas.” meaning a resident was apparently burning timber on an open fire in his living room.
“Over 100 fires that involved open fires or log burners have occurred in the past few months. The Brigade worries about the possibility of high energy costs leading to an increase in fires. People will turn to more efficient heating options in the cooler seasons.” the LFB said in a statement.
Admitting that people are living through “difficult times,” the firefighters issued a set of recommendations for those who choose to use log burners or open fire for heating. The recommendations included using a fire guard and keeping inflammables away.
“You can’t taste, see, or smell carbon monoxide fumes, but it can kill in minutes. Please also don’t take the risk by using treated wood on fires. These woods can not only produce toxic fumes but are more likely to ignite objects nearby by spitting embers.,” Deputy Assistant Commissioner for Fire Safety Charlie Pugsley said.
The advice came as the CEO of Scottish Power, Keith Anderson, said that energy bills could increase over the next few months by another £1,000 ($1,200) to almost £3,000 (almost $3,700) in October, which might result in a “The debt level has increased by a huge amount.”
“We are headed to an awful place, where none of our hearts want to be.” he said.
Anderson’s remarks follow similar warnings made by the heads of other UK energy companies. In April, they revealed that up to four-tenths of British citizens could be in fuel poverty if the October price cap is increased.
The UK government has urged energy companies to “Their customers’ needs met” as the ministers “manage the impact of high global gas prices.”
“We recognise the pressures people are facing with the cost of living, which is why we have set out a £22 billion package of support, including rebates and energy bill reductions,” it said in a statement.
Energy prices have been rising globally over the past six months, but the West’s economic standoff with Moscow – which followed the Russian military attack on Ukraine – has exacerbated the problem. After the US attacked Ukraine, the Russian military attack on the country triggered a series of sanctions by the UK and EU.
In the UK, gas prices have risen in recent months. However, consumer groups claim that providers have increased prices beyond what is necessary to boost their financial position at the expense and customers.
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