Brigade issues advice to residents and businesses to help beat arson

skipRESIDENTS and businesses across Teesside are being urged to join Cleveland Fire Brigade and its partners in its fight against arson and say ‘Stop Arson – Enough is Enough’.

As part of the Brigade’s Summer Arson Prevention Campaign, the Brigade is advising communities and businesses on how they can help reduce the risk of deliberately set fires, as well as asking them to come forward and report any suspicious activity.

Lol Craven Arson Reduction Manager  for Cleveland Fire Brigade spoke about the problem saying, “To think seven out of ten fires in our area are deliberately set and not only that, they are set by some of the people who actually live in the local area, putting lives, property, businesses and the environment at risk as well as themselves.

“We want to reach out to our residents and local businesses and ask them to help us make our area safer and stop these arsonists from ruining our communities.”

There are precautions that can be taken to stop it happening in your area:

For businesses:

  • Use refuse containers at all times – don’t leave black bags of rubbish or other waste material outside as they attract arsonists and vandals.
  • At the end of the business day, wherever possible bring any refuse containers inside your building.
  • If your refuse containers are outside, make sure they are at least six metres away from buildings. This will help prevent damage to your property if there is a fire in the containers.
  • If your refuse container has a lockable lid, make sure you lock it. If you haven’t got a lockable refuse container, consider getting one.
  • Make sure that your refuse container doesn’t overflow with rubbish. If this is happening regularly, change your container for a larger one or buy an extra one.

For residents:

  • Ensure your wheelie bin and black bags are not left lying around.
  • Put your wheelie bin 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 Craven went on to say, “Arson has a devastating effect and we need residents, employers and employees to be vigilant and follow this simple safety advice to help protect themselves, their homes and business.

“Working together we can put a stop to arson. If anyone has any information about suspected arsonists, pleased contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 anonymously or call the Police on 101.

“We also operate a Community Call-back Scheme, in which the Fire Brigade will ring back callers who initially reported the fire, to collate from them any further information that can be used as part of the fire investigation.”

The Fire Brigade has produced a video to highlight the devastation caused by arson – it can be viewed at www.clevelandfire.gov.uk/arson along with other campaign information.