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Fire investigators issue safety warning over incorrect use of expanding foam filler

Fire investigators are warning DIY enthusiasts about the potential risks of using expanding foam filler incorrectly after a man was hospitalised after using it.

Firefighters were called to a property where vapours from foam filler ignited and exploded, causing the male and female occupiers to suffer burns.

The man had been filling a hole under sink with expanding foam filler when its vapours were accidentally ignited by a lit gas cooker. He was taken to Aintree University Hospital for treatment.

Now, fire investigators are issuing a warning about the potential dangers of using expanding foam filler incorrectly and are urging people to be safe when working with it.

Watch Manager and Incident Investigator Tony Harland said: “A number of fire and rescue services across the country have now dealt with incidents involving expanding foam filler.

“The propellant stored in this product is extremely flammable and, if used in a confined space or unventilated area, the vapours will accumulate at low levels and can cause a fire or explosion if they come in to contact with a naked flame such as a cooker or hob.

“It is important that, when using this product, people follow the manufacturer’s instructions and only use it in well ventilated areas away from any potential ignition sources.”

Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service recommends the following advice:

· Always follow the manufacturer’s instruction when using expanding foam filler.

· Rooms should be very well ventilated when applying the foam, especially when it is being applied in confined spaces. The ventilation should continue while the foam is curing and hardening.

· Ensure there are no naked flames, such as candles, gas cookers or gas fires in use when the foam is being applied and when it is curing.

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