This month’s joint venture between Cleveland Fire Brigade and Fireman Sam at Toys ‘R’ Us to raise awareness of arson, its consequences and how to help prevent it, has been deemed a success.
The children’s favourite joined up with firefighters from Thornaby Station as part of a month-long campaign to drive down arson which accounts for 76% of fire related incidents in the Teesside area and cost the local economy £14m in the last year.
Lee Haggath, Thornaby Blue Watch Manager with Cleveland Fire Brigade, said: “With a mixture of the school Easter holidays and improved weather, we do tend to see a rise in arson. This can have a devastating impact on the environment, businesses, homes and lives.
“The Brigade wanted to get messages out there to the community and the event went very well. It gave firefighters and Fireman Sam the opportunity to speak to over 500 people about dangers in the home and how they can stay safe.”
“We also showed approximately 200 children around the appliances and had photos taken with them and Fireman Sam. Hundreds of leaflets were given out too, helping the day have a lasting effect. The event was well received both from a Brigade perspective and also Toys ‘R’ Us who had made excellent arrangements for ourselves at the event.”
“By speaking to members of the public and spreading our messages to young people, we hope to help keep our communities safer. If you have any information about arson in your area, please contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, all calls are confidential.”
Mike Coogan, Marketing Director at Toys ‘R’ Us, said: “We are very pleased with how the day went. Incorporating a character into the day that many children know and trust helped promote fire safety in an interesting way. It allowed us to introduce children to important messages with the support of a fun and friendly face”