CHESHIRE Fire & Rescue Service is warning all residents and businesses to be extra vigilant to protect their property from small deliberate fires this weekend as the Easter school holidays start.
Firefighters across the county will be patrolling high risk areas regularly over the school holiday period, not only to fight fires but to also to spot any unwanted waste which may have built up and will work with its partners to ensure it is removed as quickly as possible.
Around 40% of all fires that are deliberately started in the UK are thought to be caused by juveniles. In 2000, 5,300 fires were started by children under the age of ten. These fires led to 13 deaths and over 1,000 injuries. The estimated cost of these fires was £40 million.
Some of these fires will be started by children playing with matches and lighters out of curiosity; the rest involve young people using fire as a form of vandalism.
Mark Cashin, Deputy Chief Fire Officer, Community Risk Reduction said: “Responding to deliberate fires is a huge drain on our resources as firefighters are continually being called out to deal with deliberate fires.
“These types of incidents continue to have a major impact on the local economy but also puts the risks of local residents and our firefighters at risk.”
To reduce the risk of arson incidents, residents can keep themselves and their property safe by following this advice:-
• Where possible, do not put wheelie bins out for emptying until the refuse collectors are due.
• Don’t overfill your wheelie bin/refuse bag and don’t allow rubbish to accumulate against buildings
• If possible, store wheelie bins/refuse containers in a secure area.
• Shops, schools and local amenities should secure refuse inside the building until the day the refuse collection is to take place
• Reports of all instances of damage should be reported to the local police or to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 where all calls are treated in the strictest confidence.