Brits are being warned over a viral TikTok 'hack' that is supposed to keep you cool during the 'heatwave' could cause an electric shock.

The warning comes as the UK Health and Security Agency and the Met Office issue an amber heat alert for the weekend across five regions in England.

Many people who are looking to beat the heat are turning towards TikTok videos and trends, which are sharing advice on how to make your own ‘AC unit’. 

Consumer safety charity, Electrical Safety First, has urged consumers to avoid the new social media trend that could put them at risk.

Tips for sleeping in the heat

Why the TikTok viral DIY AC unit trend is dangerous

The dangerous hack involves a user taping a frozen towel to their electric fan while in use, in the hope that it will blow colder air throughout their home. 

"Yet again, we are seeing TikTok influencers who are demonstrating 'heat hacks' with their fans which are potentially unsafe,” says Giuseppe Capanna, product safety engineer at Electrical Safety First. 

“Placing a freezing towel on a plugged-in fan could destabilise the device and cause it to fall over, causing the blades to hit the guard and put the motor under pressure, and could even break the device altogether.

"The biggest risk comes from the towel, which would eventually thaw and become sopping wet.

"Water and electricity do not mix and, by copying this hack, water could come into contact with the motor or the plug and its socket, increasing the risk of an electric shock.” 

In addition to the warning, Giuseppe Capanna has offered some further advice on how to use your fan safely amid the rising temperatures.

Here are six tips you should follow including all the do's and don'ts during the heatwave, courtesy of Electrical Safety First.

6 tips to stay safe and cool during a heatwave

Don't leave your fan on overnight   

It’s tempting to keep cool air circulating as the night time temperature stays high but this leaves you at risk if a fault occurs within your device while you’re sleeping.

Always turn your fan off before you go to sleep and ensure you have working smoke alarms in your property.    

Do purchase your fan from a reputable retailer you know and trust   
Purchasing electric fans from third-party sellers you have never heard of on online marketplaces could leave you vulnerable to substandard and potentially dangerous counterfeits which may risk electric shock and fire.    

Don't balance your fan on the edge of a surface   
Always place your fan on a flat stable surface. If your fan is balanced on the edge of a surface, or has items attached to it, such as a bag of ice, it could tip over.

This would cause the blades to hit the guard and put the motor under additional strain, as well as potentially breaking your fan altogether.    

Do clear your fan of dust build-up   
Be sure to look at the vents or the motor for a build-up of dust as there are two risks:  

The motor may be placed under additional strain from the dust and grime. 

The dust could become a source of ignition if the motor were to overheat.

Always clean your vents to ensure your fan works efficiently and is kept in good use. Make sure to unplug your fan and to follow the manufacturer’s instructions before opening the guard or attempting to clean the fan.   

Don't ignore a buzzing sound   
If your fan is giving off a light buzzing sound it may be a sign of an electrical fault or ‘arcing’ occurring at the plug.

Always ensure your fan is plugged in securely if you notice any smell of burning or unusual noises, turn it off immediately.    

Do check your fan for wear and tear   

We often keep fans for years, storing them away in the cooler months where damage may occur to cables.

Always check your device to ensure the cables are in good condition and that the vents are free from the build-up of dust, which can hinder the product’s performance.