News release text
Firefighters are urging caution in the use of microwaveable wheat bag warming products following a series of incidents.
In the most recent, a resident at Crispin Court, Coxheath near Maidstone, mistakenly overheated his wheat bag, leading to charring and large quantities of smoke which set off his smoke alarm.
Station Manager Paul Ramsden said: "While the gentleman was not injured and there was no damage to the microwave, it doesn't take much to see how a far more serious fire could have developed.
"We would urge anyone buying these products for themselves or for other people, particularly those who are older or more vulnerable, to follow these important safety tips:
Do not use your wheat bag as a bed warmer
Always read and follow the manufacturers instructions supplied with your wheat bag
Do not exceed heating times stated in the instructions - this will cause the bag to overheat
Ensure your microwave turntable is working properly, if not this can cause hot spots in the bag that can overheat
Always leave bags to cool in a safe area and on a non-combustible surface like a kitchen sink and only store when fully cooled
Never reheat the bag until it has completely cooled – which may take up to two hours
Never leave the microwave unattended when heating a wheat bag
Do not use the bag if you see evidence of problems such as charring
Please also make sure you have a smoke alarm fitted on every floor of your home and that they are tested weekly.