Dan Middleton has attracted criticism from the London Fire Brigade after a video in which he set fire to a children’s toy went viral.
The video depicted Dan using a small blowtorch to remove the hair of a Hatchimal, a toy which was one of the most popular Christmas gifts in 2016. Given the toy’s popularity and Dan’s younger demographic, the video caused the London Fire Brigade to be concerned that children may attempt to copy him and end up badly burned. Just before setting the toy on fire, Dan warned his audience to not try this at home.
Dan initially removed the batteries from the toy but he later put them back into the toy; he then acknowledged that this meant that it “could explode” in his face.
Fire chiefs have since described Dan’s behaviour as “reckless”. In a statement, the head of the London Fire Brigade’s fire investigation team, Charlie Pugsley, condemned Dan’s actions:
“Playing with fire is not a game and the YouTuber even admits that his behaviour is incredibly dangerous, despite trying to pass off the irresponsible act as humorous.
“There is apparently no limit to the lengths some people will go to in order to gain popularity on social media and we’d ask DanTDM to use his internet to fame teach others about the dangers of fire instead of posting childish pranks.
“We would also urge people not to copy these actions and keep all toys away from fire, and dangerous tools such as blowtorches away from children.”
Information on fire safety can be found on the London Fire Brigade website.