By David Powell, The Daily Post (UK), Republished with Permission
Firefighters freed more than three people a day this year after they got trapped in toilets or bathrooms.
There were 14 rescues in North Wales alone, with safety officials saying being stuck can be very “distressing”, especially for children and pensioners. Now North Wales Fire And Rescue Service has urged people to check that door locks aren’t faulty and to take care so that children can’t get into bathrooms unaccompanied.
Firefighters were called to 1,132 incidents in England, Wales and Northern Ireland in 2013, according to an answer to a Freedom of Information Act request. Most of the incidents were in London where crews were called out 395 times. But they were also alerted 41 times on Merseyside, 31 in Cheshire, 27 in South Wales and nine in Mid and West Wales.
The cases included:
- An obese 30-year-old woman had to be prised out of a toilet seat in Northern Ireland using “manual handling techniques” after becoming wedged.
- A Guildford man locked himself into the ladies’ toilet.
- A Newcastle woman shouted out of her bathroom window for an hour to attract attention after the lock broke on the door.
- A Cardiff woman became trapped between a toilet and a wall and firefighters had to remove the toilet.
- A toilet seat had to be removed off the head of a child in Barnstaple.
Here in North Wales, several people found themselves locked in a bathroom in Rhyl in January and firefighters had to use tools to get them out. A Deeside woman was released from her bathroom after the door handle broke in February.
In Menai Bridge, a child had to be freed in February, as did a woman and child in Holywell in March.
Similarly, a trapped four-year-old girl had to be sprung from her bathroom in Prestatyn in March.
In the same month, a family got their trapped two-year-old child from a Llandudno bathroom before firefighters arrived.
In Bangor, someone dialled 999 for help when a four-year-old had the same problem in April. And in June, an elderly woman was rescued from her bathroom in Rhyl.
In Beaumaris, a six-year-old child was released from public conveniences before help arrived in June, and two days later a two-year-old was released from their bathroom in Dolgellau.
There were further unusual rescue operations in Prestatyn and Holyhead when a disabled toilet door lock broke. A five-year-old boy needed help in Mold when he accidentally got stuck after the handle came off a bathroom door in August.
A fire service spokesperson said: “Becoming locked in a bathroom can cause distress. It is important to take precautions against this happening such as making the room inaccessible unless your child is accompanied by an adult. Keep all medicines out of the reach of children and never leave children alone in the bath.”