Sirens called as ‘Fifty Shades’ effect lands many in a bind

The popularity of erotic fiction like the bestseller Fifty Shades of Grey could be to blame for the dozens of incidents of people being trapped in handcuffs firefighters have been called out to over the past three years, a brigade said yesterday.

London Fire Brigade said it had turned out to 79 such incidents — and nine instances of men with rings stuck on their penises — and urged people “always keep the keys handy”.

Third officer Dave Brown, said: “Some of the incidents our firefighters are called out to could be prevented with a little common sense. 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. I’m sure most people will be 50 shades of red by the time our crews arrive to free them.”

The brigade has attended more than 1,300 incidents involving people being trapped or stuck, often in everyday household items, since 2010.

In 2010/11 crews attended 416 incidents; in 2011/12 this rose to 441 incidents; and in 2012/13 increased to 453. A total of 307 people were injured.

In the last three years the capital’s fire crews have been called out to:

* Incidents involving children with their heads stuck in potties or toilet seats;

* Five incidents involving people’s hands being stuck in shredders;

* Seventy-nine incidents involving people being trapped in handcuffs;

* Nine instances of men with rings stuck on their penises;

* Four incidents where people had their hands stuck in blenders;

* Seventeen incidents involving children with their fingers stuck in toys.

The brigade said that in the past its crews have been called to a man whose penis was stuck in a toaster, and another with his penis trapped in a vacuum cleaner.

People getting into a jam with rings, bracelets and watches are a common occurrence, while firefighters are also regularly called to assist people and children with their fingers trapped in washing machines, sewing machines and heaters.


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