Firefighters warn against recreating dangerous viral heating hack

Tea lights and terracotta pots are being used as makeshift heaters

Firefighters are warning the public about the dangers of a viral social media trend after an apartment fire on Nov. 30.

Fire crews in Derby, England said the fire was caused by “the failure of a homemade heater, which used tea lights to heat up terracotta pots.”

“Tea lights and terracotta pots are being used as part of a dangerous trend which has gone viral on TikTok among those who are looking for alternative ways to heat their homes,” Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service said in a Facebook post.

“Although these hacks may look like a good way to save money on heating bills, they are very dangerous and we would urge people not to follow the videos posted online,” said fire investigator Barclay Masterson. “Luckily, in this instance, the occupiers witnessed the failure of the homemade device and evacuated the flat safely.”

Masterson said the heat released from the base of the tea lights was enough to weaken the terracotta plates they were placed on, which caused the homemade heating device to collapse and the melted wax to ignite.

“Using tea lights like this could also cause serious burn injuries, not only from the heated terracotta pots but from the naked flames produced,” investigators said.

The United Kingdom is currently experiencing an energy crisis as bills are expected to skyrocket 80% this winter, according to EuroNews.

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About the Author:

Mary Claire Patton has been a journalist with KSAT 12 since 2015. She has reported on several high-profile stories during her career at KSAT and specializes in trending news and things to do around Texas and San Antonio.