Bright ideas to tackle arson

Cleveland Fire Brigade is asking anyone with bright ideas to step forward and help the fight against nuisance fires.

The appeal for “lightbulb” moments comes with the launch of a new campaign where the Brigade reminds people that they cannot be in two places at once as such fires divert resources away from other emergencies where lives may be at risk.

Some 85% of calls are to nuisance fires, often small issues like rubbish, wheelie bin fires, improperly extinguished BBQ’s or discarded cigarettes that are not put out properly and spread.

Latest figures show there were just over 2,500 nuisance fires in the Brigade area from April 2020 to the end of January this year.

Steve Johnson, Area Manager, Prevention, Protection and Engagement, said: “Nuisance and careless fires are a community problem and we need everyone’s help to reduce these incidents.

“There are sensible steps we can all take, like removing rubbish from near property, making sure BBQ’s and cigarettes are properly put out and putting litter in the bin when we are out and about.  We also welcome any other ideas as we look to harness the community spirit generated throughout the current pandemic.

“It is important to report anti-social behaviour which can lead to fire setting and escalate to other crimes. By taking a few simple steps, looking out for what is happening in your neighbourhood and reporting any incidents we can all make a difference and keep our communities safe.”

burnt rubbish with light bulb graphic over the top stating "do you have a bright idea to help us tackle arson?"

You can send us your ideas to reduce nuisance fires to:

All the ideas received by 8 April 2021 will be considered and the best one will be selected for a special prize.

The Brigade has also asked everyone to take PRIDE in their local community by making their neighbourhoods safer and cleaner – cutting back hedges that border footpaths, collecting rubbish and reporting issues like broken street lights.

People can also help the Brigade by:

  • Putting wheelie bins out only on the day if collection and bring them in as soon as possible
  • Storing bins and refuse securely and away from property
  • Clearing rubbish and tidying boundaries on to public footpaths to aid visibility
  • Disposing of bulky items via a registered service (check:
  • Reporting issues such as fly-tipping in your area to or your local council
  • Reporting incidents anonymously to Crimestoppers 0800 555 111