79 people have had to be freed from handcuffs since 2010 in London (LFB)
79 people have had to be freed from handcuffs since 2010 in London (LFB)

The number of people calling the fire brigade in London to help fee them from handcuffs has increased for the past three years in succession - and Fifty Shades of Grey may be a key factor.

The London Fire Brigade has said the rise in the popularity of erotic fiction, such as EL James' all-conquering bondage novel, may have contributed to the 79 incidents involving people being trapped in handcuffs since 2010.

In total, more than 1,300 Londoners were forced to call the emergency services after getting trapped or stuck in objects such as toilet seats, blenders and even toy cars.

According to the figures, there were 416 incidents of people getting stuck or trapped in everyday household objects in 2010/11. This figure rose to 441 in 2011/12 and 453 in 2012/13. A total of 307 people were injured as a result of these incidents.

People getting stuck in handcuffs constituted the most common emergency, with 79 incidents since 2010. The Brigade advised people to "always keep the keys handy" when using handcuffs to avoid such embarrassment.

As well as handcuffs, 18 children had to be freed after getting their head stuck in toilet seats or potties and nine men were treated for rings stuck on their penises.

Five people had to be freed after getting their hands trapped in a shredder and there were 17 incidents involving children with their fingers stuck in toys, including one with Lego stuck on his finger.

The Brigade said that in the past its crews have been called to a man whose penis was stuck in a toaster, and another with his manhood trapped in a vacuum cleaner.

The Brigade said that each incident costs taxpayers at least £290, meaning the incidents have cost at least £377,000.

Third Officer Dave Brown said: "Some of the incidents our firefighters are called out to could be prevented with a little common sense. I don't know whether it's the Fifty Shades effect, but the number of incidents involving items like handcuffs seems to have gone up.

"I'm sure most people will be Fifty Shades of red by the time our crews arrive to free them.

"I'd like to remind everyone that 999 is an emergency number and should only be used as such. When firefighters are out attending to some of these avoidable incidents, someone else could be in real need of emergency assistance.

"If there's a genuine emergency, fire crews will of course attend and will be on the scene to help within minutes."