Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue are asking people to help them put out fires before they’ve started by making it hard for arsonists to find things to burn.
May is Arson Awareness Month and the service has issued a list of proactive fire prevention tips.
“Every fire caused deliberately is a significant drain on our resources and can put lives in danger, destroy buildings and be devastating to local communities,” said Andy Martin, Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service’s Arson Reduction Officer.
Arson accounts for almost half of all fires attended by UK fire and rescue services and puts lives at risk.
In the year ending September 2018, 55 people died in the UK in fires that were started deliberately.
They also cost the UK millions of pounds every year, with insurers reporting arson costs over £1bn in fire-related claims each year.
“You can reduce the chances of your home, business or other property becoming a target for an arsonist,” adds Andy, “by following some simple guidelines”.
- Only put your rubbish out on the designated collection day and keep bins away from the walls of your property, ideally in a secure environment.
- Fly-tipping is great fuel for arsonists. Always dispose of rubbish responsibly and make arrangements for combustible materials to be taken to a tip by a trustworthy source. Don’t leave any in front of your property.
- Don’t let rubbish build up outside your property or allow bins to become too full.
- Don’t put skips close to your property, arrange for them to be emptied or removed before they become too full. You should contact your local council about the disposal of bulky items.
Andy also urges people to immediately report anyone setting a fire deliberately, “don’t accept it, report it using 999 for the Fire Service if lives or property are at risk.
“Anti-social behaviour is often a precursor to arson. Report it and any information on arson to the Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111,” he said.