Fire crews fear Fifty Shades effect
Firefighters fear they may become tied up with a rise in call-outs over people getting trapped in compromising situations as a result of the "Fifty Shades" effect.
Chiefs at London Fire Brigade (LFB) are worried the Fifty Shades Of Grey film, which has its UK premiere today, could lead to more people getting trapped in objects like handcuffs or rings as they recreate its steamy scenes.
Cinemas are braced for a surge of fans of EL James's erotic romance novel desperate to see it brought to the big screen.
The brigade said it has seen a rise in incidents of people getting stuck in compromising situations since the book was released in 2011, with 472 cases of people being trapped or stuck, often in household items, in 2013/14.
LFB even launched a campaign to urge people to think carefully before getting themselves into sticky situations, which led to a reduction in such calls. But the brigade says it still has to deal with embarrassing incidents on a daily basis.
Since April 2013 fire crews in the capital have been called to 28 incidents involving people trapped in handcuffs and seven instances of men with rings stuck on their penises.
In November firefighters came to the rescue of one particularly unfortunate man who had to undergo surgery after he got two metal rings stuck on his penis for three days.
Doctors at Kings College Hospital were unable to remove them, so two firefighters had to cut them off using hydraulic cutters.
Crews in the past have been called to help a man whose penis was stuck in a toaster, while another poor soul trapped his manhood in a vacuum cleaner.
LFB third officer Dave Brown said: "The Fifty Shades effect seems to spike handcuff incidents, so we hope film-goers will use common sense and avoid leaving themselves red-faced."
The brigade urged those hoping to spice up their love life with handcuffs to always keep the keys nearby.
And a spokesman added: "Our advice is simple. If the ring doesn't fit, don't force it on. As well as being painful, you could end up wasting emergency service time if you have to call us out."
Other brigades appeared less concerned about being overloaded by those enjoying saucy shenanigans.
A spokeswoman for Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service said the press office had an "informal discussion" about the possibility.
But she said: "No operational staff have come to us and said they fear a rise in 'special service' requests, which is what these incidents are logged as.
"At this moment in time we don't think we will have an issue, and there is nothing put in place to look out for it.
"We can't turn a blind eye to it just in case we start to get calls in. Calls would still go down as a special service call - whether we would put down on the log the ins and outs of what firefighters are actually dealing with I don't know."