Brigade steps up arson campaign

FIRE Brigade chiefs in Cleveland are stepping up their campaign to put a stop to arson after declaring ‘Enough is Enough’.

The latest appeal for support from the local community comes just days after arsonists targeted the vicarage at St Bede’s RC Church in Stockton.

Arson is responsible for three-quarters of fire-related incidents in Cleveland and cost local taxpayers an average of £321,524 per week last year (2011/12).

Now brigade bosses are urging Cleveland residents to play their part in stamping out arson by following some simple rules to prevent rubbish and wheelie bin fires.

Barry Waller, Head of Fire Engineering

Barry Waller, Head of Fire Engineering with Cleveland Fire Brigade, said: “Wheelie bin and rubbish fires account for a significant number of deliberate fires in Cleveland and we are appealing to the support of residents to put a stop to them.

“Wheelie bin and rubbish fires can easily spread to homes and property, putting lives at risk and destroying our communities.”

Residents are being asked to follow the advice below;

  • Ensure your wheelie bin or your black bags are not left lying around
  • Put your wheelie bins or black bags out on the day of collection and then your bin should be brought back in as soon as possible
  • Your wheelie bin or black bags should be kept in a secure place
  • If you are throwing out old furniture or other household items call your Council to arrange a collection and keep them in a secure area until the collection takes place
  • If you are using a skip for building work or rubbish removal, try to fill it and remove it on the same day.  If not, ask the skip hire company for a skip with a lockable lid and position the skip at least six metres from your home.
  • Never put hot ash in your wheelie bin

Mr Waller went on to say that residents can also play their part by reporting suspected arsonists.

“We are working very closely with the Police and other organisations to bring arsonists before the courts but we need the support of local communities to get in touch if they have any information.

“We appeal to anyone with information to ring the Police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 if you want to remain anonymous.”

Local councils operate a range of services to help residents and organisations discard of unwanted rubbish. Contact details are as follows:

Stockton on Tees:

Email: careforyourarea@stockton.gov.uk
Office hours call: 01642 391959
Out of office hours call: 01642 528989

Middlesbrough:

Email: envservices@middlesbrough.gov.uk
Office hours call: 01642 726001
Out of office hours call: 01642 726050

Redcar and Cleveland:

Email: contactus@redcar-cleveland.gov.uk
24 hours call: 01642 774774 (ext. 1)

Hartlepool:

Email: customer.service@hartlepool.gov.uk
Office hours call: 01429 523333
Out of office hours call: 01429 869424

The Brigade’s arson campaign was launched at the start of the summer school holidays and also includes a full programme of diversionary activities for youngsters, community patrols, posters, leaflets, radio advertising and online activities.

For further information, visit our Arson webpage or join us on Facebook or Twitter.

To help keep you and your family safe from fire, the Brigade provides free Home Fire Safety Visits and will fit smoke alarms if needed. Call 01429 874063 to arrange a visit to your home and you will receive specific fire safety advice for you and your family.