A senior Angus fire officer has said the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service exists to ensure the safety of people across the region and wants everyone to enjoy the upcoming spring period.
Unfortunately, this time of year traditionally sees an increase in the number of deliberate fires across the country. These incidents range from rubbish and refuse fires to vehicles being set ablaze.
Deliberately set fires are dangerous; they waste time and money, and keep SFRS crews away from real emergencies. Such incidents place an unnecessary burden on SFRS resources, in what is already a busy time of year for firefighters.
As well as potentially delaying attendance at a more serious incident, fire setting can result in injury, property damage and environmental pollution.
SFRS has listed six ways you can join Scotland’s fight against fire. They are:
1. Being aware of strangers loitering in your street – if they do so for some time, inform Police Scotland on the non-emergency number 101.
2. Contacting Police Scotland via the non-emergency number 101 to share information on anyone who deliberately sets fires. Alternatively, give the information anonymously by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
3. Reporting any build-up of rubbish to your local authority or community fire station. This will help ensure it can be removed and prevent fires.
4. Ensuring you are aware of where the children or young people you look after are – and what they’re doing.
5. Making sure that children and young people are aware of the risks of playing with fire and the consequences of deliberately setting a fire.
6. Reporting any fly-tipping directly to your local authority or to the National Dumb Dumpers Stop line on 0845 230 40 90.
SFRS Group Manager for Angus, Billy McLintock, said: “We want everyone to enjoy a safe and enjoyable Easter break. The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service typically sees an increase in the amount of deliberate fires and fly-tipping at this time of year and it is important that people are aware of the dangers and consequences of such actions.
“Whilst we have seen a decrease in the total number of deliberate fires across Angus area and Scotland over the past four years, there were still 2,428 deliberate fires recorded last spring.
“These incidents are a waste of SFRS resources and can take firefighters away from more serious fires.
“During Spring our personnel will be working around the clock. Not just fighting fires, but working with schools and youth groups to engage with young people as part a collective prevention agenda.”
“Ultimately, we are working together to help our communities across Angus. Fire setting is an offence – don’t accept it, report it.”
Deliberate fire-setting is an offence and anyone with information regarding fire setters can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.