Popular erotic fiction such as Fifty Shades of Grey could be to blame for a rising number of incidents in which people have become stuck in handcuffs, the London Fire Brigade said yesterday.
The fire brigade said it had attended 79 incidents in which people had become stuck in handcuffs over the past three years.
The new figures prompted the fire brigade to urge people to "think carefully" before dialling the emergency 999 number and to "always keep the keys handy".
"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," said third officer Dave Brown. "I'm sure most people will be fifty shades of red by the time our crews arrive to free them."
In total the fire brigade attended more than 1 300 incidents in which people had become stuck or trapped, usually in household objects, in the past three years, it said.
The number rose from 416 incidents between 2010 and 2011 to 453 between 2012 and 2013.
There were also nine cases where men had got rings stuck on their penises; one man got his penis stuck in a vacuum clearer, and another in a toaster.
Eighteen incidents involved children getting their heads stuck in toilet seats or potties.
"Some of the incidents our firefighters are called out [to] could be prevented with a little common sense," said Brown.