Wheat bag warning
Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service (HWFRS) was alerted to the fire at around 2.30pm and three fire crews from Hereford fire station attended. A microwave being used to heat a wheat-filled bag had caught fire, destroying the microwave and causing smoke-logging throughout the rest of the property. No one was injured during the incident.
Crew Commander John Probert from HWFRS said: “The fire was out as crews arrived but they took the burnt microwave oven from the premises and helped ventilate the property to clear the smoke.
“It would seem that the fire broke out after the wheat bag was inadvertently heated in the microwave for longer than recommended, and we would urge anyone using these wheat-filled bags to ensure they carefully follow the manufacturer’s instructions to avoid a similar incident themselves.”
He explained that wheat-filled bags are an increasingly popular choice to help provide pain relief for a range of conditions. They can be heated to relieve neck and back pain, arthritis or muscle strains, or can be chilled to provide relief for headaches or sporting injuries.
CC Probert added: “It’s vital that the manufacturer’s instructions are followed and so we would recommend storing wheat bags in their original packaging with the manufacturer’s instructions. This way, anyone using the bag can do so in safety, avoiding the risk of getting the timings wrong.”
He also warned that particular care should be taken with wheat bags designed to be used by children (cuddly teddy and animal shapes), advising that there have been instances elsewhere in the UK where overheated wheat bags have smouldered for several hours before bursting into flames.