THE FIRE Brigade says that the success of kinky literary sensation Fifty Shades of Grey could be to blame for an increase in call-outs to people trapped in handcuffs, and other devices.
Figures from the London Fire Brigade show a ten per cent increase in calls from people who needed to be freed from various different household, or bedroom, items.
Of the 1,300 incidents since 2010, 79 involved handcuffs and a further nine involved men with rings stuck on their private parts. The brigade also revealed it had been called out to help a man whose penis was stuck in a toaster, and another with his manhood trapped in a vacuum cleaner.
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"I don’t know whether it’s the Fifty Shades effect, but the number of incidents involving items like handcuffs seems to have gone up," said spokesman Dave Brown. The brigade advised couples: "If you use handcuffs, always keep the keys handy."
Over the last three years fire crews have helped 18 children with their heads stuck in potties or toilet seats, and a further 17 with their hands trapped in toys.
Some of the emergencies sound rather more gruesome than others. Since 2010 there have been nine call-outs to deal with people who had their hands trapped in blenders or shredding machines.
Many of the incidents "could be prevented with a little common sense," said the brigade, but added that fire crews would always attend a "genuine emergency" within minutes.
"The service estimates each call-out costs the taxpayer about £300, putting the total cost of the incidents close to £400,000," reports the Evening Standard.
The number of calls is on the rise. In 2010/11 crews attended 416 incidents; in 2011/12 the number rose to 441 incidents; and in 2012/13 it shot up to 453. A total of 307 people were injured as a result of these incidents, said the brigade.
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