Emergency services staff across Merseyside have issued a warning to people after they had to attend a third fire this year caused by people overheating wheat bags in their microwaves.
The products are widely used to help warm people's beds – but fire crews say that users must always take care to follow the manufacturers' instructions when using them – particularly with regard to the amount of time for which they should be warmed.
"These products can be dangerous if they are not used correctly and we are urging people to follow advice on their use to reduce the risk of a fire occurring," Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service group manager, Paul Murphy, told the Liverpool Echo.
He was speaking after one of his crews was called to a fire at a house in Birkenhead, where crews arrived to find that smoke from an overheated wheat bag had filled the kitchen.
As a result, two men received treatment for the effects of inhaling smoke.
The incident followed a more serious similar one earlier this year in the same area, in which an 83-year-old woman died.