Fire Chiefs call to help drive down arson

Bonfire Thumbnail with wordsFire Chiefs at Cleveland Fire Brigade are asking residents and businesses to help play their part in reducing the number of deliberate fires this bonfire period which cost the Brigade a staggering £786,030 during October and November last year.

The Brigade launched its campaign last Saturday in partnership with Middlesbrough Football Club and aims to promote bonfire and firework safety, so people stay safe, not sorry and reduce the number of arson incidents which tend to rise at this time of year.

Phil Lancaster, Director of Community Protection for Cleveland Fire Brigade said: “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.

“As the evenings draw in and daylight hours are shorter we see an increase in the number of fires we get. This, added to the fact that a small minority of people think that bonfire night gives them an excuse to set fires, means the fire service spends more time dealing with nuisance fires rather than delivering essential lifesaving prevention services and attending real incidents where people are in danger.” 

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

“There are precautions you can take to help 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.

“By following these precautions, our communities can help to protect themselves, their homes and their businesses.”

If anyone has any information about suspected arsonists, pleased contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 anonymously or call the Police on 101. You can also report unofficial bonfires or discarded rubbish for removal by contacting your local council 

For further information, safety advice and contact numbers for rubbish removal visit www.clevelandfire.gov.uk/bonfire or follow us on Facebook (/clevelandfb) or Twitter (@clevelandfb).