As we move towards the Spring and into the Easter holidays, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service is appealing to the public to join Scotland’s fight against fire and do what they can to prevent fire.
During the months of March and April SFRS traditionally see an increase in the amount of deliberate fires accross Scotland compared to the rest of the year. These fires present a danger to life, property and can have a detrimental financial impact on the Scottish economy.
In March and April 2014 there were 2384 deliberate fires in Scotland, whilst this is down significantly from a high of 4677 in March and April of 2011, this shows that although SFRS are making a considerable impact, there is still much work to be done to reduce the number of fires further.
SFRS will work together with partner agencies such as Police Scotland, Scottish Environment Protection Agency and Crimestoppers Scotland to prevent fires and support Police Scotland in highlighting the need to report fire offending.
Assistant Chief Officer Lewis Ramsay, director of prevention and protection, SFRS, said: “We want the public to have an enjoyable break over the Easter period – and also a safe one. Over the next few months we’ll typically see an increase in the amount of deliberate fires and flytipping.
“SFRS is appealing in particular to young people as they go on school holidays for the Easter break to consider the consequences of deliberately setting a fire. We would urge parents to ensure that their children know about and understand the potentially tragic consequences deliberate fires can have, as well as the impact for responding emergency services. Fire setting is an offense – don’t accept it, report it.
“Flytipping is not only illegal, but it’s extremely dangerous – unmonitored waste is a fire hazard for our communities and I’d urge the public to use only council run recycling centres and dumps.
“As we enter the time of year where we typically see warmer weather we would also expect to see an increase in the amount of woodland, grass and forest fires. Our crews work hard to provide education and advice about the risks and also respond when fires do break out. The public can help them to keep people safe by heeding our safety advice and sharing it with others. We’ll be working hand in hand with rural communities, businesses and landowners to establish ‘Fire Plans’ that will focus on reducing the risk of fire and provide advice on what to do if an emergency does occur.
“There is lots of information available online now at www.firescotland.gov.uk, but as ever, we welcome the public to get in touch with their local stations to ask for help.
Chief Inspector Alistair Muir, Police Scotland, said: “Every year over the Spring period, our colleagues at the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service face an increase in outdoor fires, many of which, sadly, have been started deliberately. SFRS work closely with Police Scotland to ensure that fire offenders are identified and prosecuted, including those who partake in the illegal dumping of waste, or flytipping.
“Flytipping is a real issue here in Scotland and as such we’ll work together with SFRS to identify hotpots and tackle offending. I’d urge the public to report large amounts of waste at www.dumbdumpers.org or call the stop line on 08452 30 40 90.
“Our co-ordinated multi-agency approach will ensure that we keep the public safe as we enter the Spring season.”
SFRS need the public to take action now and join Scotland’s fight against fire – book a free Home Fire Safety Visit today by calling freephone 0800 0731 999, texting ‘FIRE’ to 80800 or visiting us online at www.firescotland.gov.uk