London

Fifty Shades of Grey 999 call spike expected by London Fire Brigade

  • 12 February 2015
  • From the section London
Fifty Shades of Grey
Image caption Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson star in the film version of Fifty Shades of Grey

Firefighters have said they are anticipating an increase in call-outs with the release of Fifty Shades of Grey at the cinema.

London Fire Brigade (LFB) said it was "concerned" the 13 February release could lead to a "spike" in people being stuck or trapped in handcuffs or rings.

Since April it has attended 393 such incidents.

LFB said people should use "common sense" but always call 999 in a genuine emergency.

The film, based on the novel by EL James, has been described as a "mummy-porn romance" and follows an affair between student Anastasia Steele and billionaire Christian Grey.

Dave Brown from LFB said: "The Fifty Shades effect seems to spike handcuff incidents so we hope film-goers will use common sense and avoid leaving themselves red-faced.


Since April 2013 the capital's fire crews have:

  • Attended 28 incidents involving people being trapped in handcuffs
  • Removed 293 rings, including seven from male genitalia
  • Attended other incidents, including releasing men's genitals from toasters or vacuum cleaners

"I'd like to remind everyone that 999 is an emergency number and should only be used as such."

The brigade said on average it was called to more than one embarrassing incident every day at a cost of about £295 to the taxpayer each time.

In November, firefighters were called by doctors at King's College Hospital to cut two steel rings from a man's genitals, which he had been unable to remove for three days.

On another occasion, the brigade was called by a woman whose husband had become locked in a chastity belt.

A spokesman added that while there could sometimes be a "funny side" to some of these predicaments, they could be painful and "end up wasting emergency service time".

He added: "Our advice is to try and avoid getting in that position in the first place."

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites