Brigade sounds alarm over incense sticks after Coulsdon blaze

Firefighters are sharing their advice for using incense sticks carefully after a maisonette fire in Coulsdon on Monday.

The LFB is concerned about careless use and disposal of incense sticks

Part of the first floor of a split-level maisonette above a fast-food shop on Brighton Road was damaged by fire. One man left the building before the Brigade arrived. There were no reports of any injuries.

The alarm was raised when smoke alarms sounding inside the maisonette alerted a resident to the fire. On investigation they saw smoke coming from the top of a door. They then alerted other residents and left the property before calling 999.

The Brigade’s fire investigators believe the fire was caused by the unsafe disposal of an incense stick.

A London Fire Brigade spokesperson said: “Candles, incense sticks and oil burners are one of the most common causes of fire. It’s really important that you never leave them unattended and keep them away from anything that could catch fire such as curtains, furniture or clothes.

The fire in this flat in Coulsdon was swiftly brought under control. Pic: LFB

“These items should always be held firmly in heat-resistant holders and placed on a stable surface where they won’t be knocked over, and make sure you put them out entirely when you leave the room and especially before bed.

“It’s also really important that these objects are out and cold before disposing of them or putting them away.”

The LFB has given these candle and incense safety tips:

  • Make sure you put out any candles, incense and oil burners when you leave the room and especially before bed.
  • Place candles, incense and oil burners in heat-resistant holders and place them on a stable surface where they won’t be knocked over.
  • Keep them away from materials that might catch fire – things like curtains, furniture, clothes and hair.
  • Make sure they are out and cold before disposing of them or putting them away

The Brigade was called to the Coulsdon incident at 8.42am on Monday, and the fire was under control by 9.21am. Two fire engines and around 10 firefighters from Purley and Wallington fire stations attended the scene.

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