The fire service is urging the public to be aware of the fire risks associated with hoarding.

Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue shared a post on its Facebook page warning the public of the dangers of hoarding.

The service said that hoarded materials present a real fire risk as they will prevent firefighters being able to tackle the blaze and residents will find it difficult or impossible to escape.

It also shared global statistics revealing that in 90% of all residential fires, the fire itself is contained to the room where it started.

That figure drops to 40% where there is hoarding – as this additional material fuels the fire and makes it spread more quickly.

Common materials kept by hoarders reported by the fire service include newspapers, magazines, books and soft furnishings – all of which are highly combustible.

A spokesperson for Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue said: “Hoarders can fill entire rooms from floor to ceiling, leaving themselves the minimum space in which to live.

“This retention of property presents a real fire risk and makes it far harder for firefighters to be able to tackle any blaze.

“By offering Safe & Well visits, and installing smoke alarms, we can work with hoarders to try and make their homes more fire safe.

“If they want help in dealing with their hoarding compulsion, then we can refer them to other agencies for that support.”