Fire services wants to hear your views on ‘flammable’ emollient creams

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Firefighters in Lincolnshire are asking residents about their experiences with paraffin-based emollient creams.

Teaming up with smoking cessation service Quit 51 and Public Health England, Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue is trying to build a picture of what residents know about paraffin-based emollient creams and how they use them, so they can design an awareness campaign to highlight the dangers of smoking around these creams.

Shona Wright, community fire safety manager at Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue, said: “Across the country, we know there is an issue with people smoking after having applied paraffin-based emollient creams, or flames from cigarette lighters coming into contact with bedding or clothing soaked in such creams.

“In the last 10 years, there have been at least 37 deaths linked to these creams, but we think there have been more incidents- just not reported.

“To prevent something like this happening in the county, we are actively trying to tackle the issue, so raising awareness of the dangers of smoking after having applied the creams, or having naked flames near to bedsheets or clothing soaked in the creams.

“With this in mind, we are asking people to take a few minutes to answer a couple of questions for us. It could be things like: Did you know these products are flammable? Do you smoke around these products? Did you get any safety information attached to the products when you picked them up from the pharmacy? Are these products being used by an elderly person or relative with restricted mobility who smokes? Or are you using the creams on your baby or child? Did you get any safety advice?

“With the information, we will be able to design an awareness campaign to help keep our residents safe.”

• Visit the survey at to share your experiences.