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Fire chiefs warn of unsafe methods after BBQ used in desperate bid to heat Staffordshire home

Fire chiefs have urged the people to ensure they stay warm safely as temperatures across the region plummets – and avoid using other dangerous methods.

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Officials in Staffordshire made the plea amid people using diesel heaters, camping stoves and BBQs as well as other equipment to provide some warmth.

But they have warned the unsafe approach is putting people at risk of house fires – and potential carbon monoxide poisoning depending on the method.

It comes as the Met Office warned the cold snap will see temperatures plummet across the country, with the potential for snow and ice in upcoming days, as the cost of living crisis continues.

Michelle Hickmott, assistant chief fire officer for Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service, said: "We are committed to protecting our communities and making sure the most vulnerable stay as safe as possible, and that’s why we need everyone to stay warm responsibly.

“Taking a chance near frozen water is a potentially fatal mistake. Whilst the ice might look strong and safe to walk on, it can easily break and cause shock to set in should anyone fall through.

“Equally, those using different methods of heating their homes should be aware of the risks involved and ensure they take the necessary steps to mitigate the chances of falling victim to accidental fires.

“We strongly believe that prevention is better than cure, and we want people to make sure they stay as safe as possible during this time.”

Meanwhile, they have reminded people fire stations will open up as "warm spaces" where people can receive a hot drink and a snack. It includes stations at Chase Terrace every Wednesday from 12.30pm to 3.20pm and at Longton every Wednesday from 2pm and 2pm.

Elsewhere, Lichfield Community Fire Station will be open every Thursday from 1.30pm and 3pm and at Burton Community Fire Station every Friday between the same times.

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