London Fire Brigade blames ‘Fifty Shades’ for rise in handcuff mishaps


The bestselling novel "Fifty Shades of Grey."


Will Olivier

The London Fire Brigade has issued a plea to Londoners to only call 999 when they have a true emergency – or at least to keep the handcuff keys nearby if they attempt to reenact scenes from the bestselling novel “Fifty Shades of Grey.”

The brigade said they’ve been called to assist people who have become trapped or stuck in objects like handcuffs and toilet seats more than 1,300 times in the past three years.

The incidents have increased 10 percent since 2010, rising to 453 in the 12 months over 2012 to 2013.

“I don't know whether it's the Fifty Shades effect, but the number of incidents involving items like handcuffs seems to have gone up,” the brigade's Third Officer Dave Brown said.

Other requests have come in from men with their genitals stuck in a toaster and a vacuum cleaner, according to BBC News.

Many of the calls have been for more innocent mishaps, like rings stuck on fingers (500 people), hands or arms stuck in letterboxes (16 people) and children’s fingers stuck in toys (17 people).

However, at a cost of £290 ($445) per response, Londoners’ carelessness has cost taxpayers at least £377,000, or $577,941.

The solution, according to the brigade: "Some of the incidents our firefighters are called out could be prevented with a little common sense,” Brown said.

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