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Edinburgh Live
Edinburgh Live
Stuart Sommerville

West Lothian fire safety fear as people 'cooking with candles' to cut fuel bills

People struggling with fuel bills amid the cost of living crisis are turning to 'dangerous' alternative methods for cooking - including using candles.

Government measures to try and mitigate rising fuel prices are expected to see bills capped at £2500 - but despite this concerns remain about the impact.

At a recent Bathgate Local Area Committee SNP member Councillor Pauline Stafford raised fears of personal safety for families facing a bleak winter with burgeoning fuel bills.

READ MORE: West Lothian crackdown on booze sales to teenagers to stop anti-social behaviour

Councillor Stafford asked Scottish Fire and Rescue Service Liaison Officer Paul Harvey: “Looking ahead to winter and obviously the financial pressures that people are under have you got any plans in place for prevention work?”

She added: “We’ve heard stories already of folk turning their heating off and finding alternative ways to heat and cook that are not safe. I just wondered what kind of work you are planning for that?”

Mr Harvey said he had discussed measures with colleagues, adding: “ We are trying to collate information. There’s already been reports of people looking at alternative methods for cooking.

"The weather’s been nice so disposable barbecues have been very common. Foil trays with candles have been common. I suspect as we get into winter where it's going to be a bit more of a crisis it’s definitely on the radar, looking for people using alternate methods for cooking to feed back into the national picture.”

Across the Lothians fire officers have told councillors there is a fear that increases in the costs of living will create more fire risks in the home and the service is already formulating safety advice regarding cooking and heating in the home.


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