Safety experts at Humberside Fire and Rescue Service have warned that residents who take part in the current ‘neknomination’ craze could be unwittingly putting themselves at unforeseen risk.
Now the service is asking all those who may be tempted to take part to think carefully about the dangers they might not immediately recognise.
The ‘neknomiation’ fad involves people using social media to issue challenges to friends or associates to consume unusual drinks, frequently alcoholic, in unusual locations, and to film themselves completing the task.
The craze has already been linked to some deaths in the UK and there are fears those taking part may leave themselves open to risks they had never intended.
A spokesman for Humberside Fire and Rescue Service said: “Many of these challenges involve drinking excessive amounts of alcohol. Quite apart from the obvious health risks involved in that, it could easily expose people to dangers they had never expected.
“If a smoker ends up very drunk, they may light a cigarette and either go to sleep while it is still burning or carelessly leave it where it could cause a fire.
“There is a similar risk if someone decides to start cooking after they’ve been drinking. Cooking fires happen too frequently and we know from experience that people can fall asleep or become more easily distracted when they’ve been drinking. If they’ve been drinking heavily, that risk increases.
“Some fires happen beyond people’s control, for example a fridge malfunction, but if someone has been drinking heavily there is a danger they will sleep through the noise made by a smoke alarm which is activated.
“There is also a risk that people who have consumed large amounts of alcohol the night before may still be over the driving limit if they go out on the road the following day. That would create an obvious danger to themselves and others and, at the very least, could lead to prosecution for drink-driving,” he said.
People under the influence will not be able to judge speed and distance, which could lead to them stepping in front of a moving vehicle. They will or may be tempted or encouraged to take risks that they would not take when sober.
An individual’s personal safety can also be put at risk as when they are under the influence, they are more susceptible to assault, abuse or robbery.
Advice from Humberside Fire and Rescue Service is that anyone subjected to a ‘neknomination’ should decline to take part, regardless of any peer pressure. Those who might be tempted to issue challenges should also consider the potential dangers involved in what they may regard as high-spirits.