News release text
Kent Fire and Rescue Service is issuing an appeal to residents following an increase in call-outs to deliberate outdoor fires this month (to 17 June 2013).
Since 1 June fire crews have attended 89 outdoor fires, including rubbish and grassland fires, that are believed to have been started deliberately, compared to 49 for the same time period last year.
Calls to accidental outdoor fires are also up this month compared to last year, with 58 callouts so far this month compared to 17 for the same time last year.
Head of Community Safety Stuart Skilton, said: “Some of these increases may be because this summer has been drier so far than last year, meaning that fires are likely to take hold more easily. However, there is a major concern about how many of these outdoor fires are being started deliberately or through carelessness.
“Fires of this type can spread easily and this puts enormous demands on our resources as well as posing a serious threat to lives and homes.”
He added: “We are appealing to people to ensure that they take extra care not to start fires, whether it is simply disposing of cigarettes and other rubbish in a responsible manner, to being fire safe with outdoor activities such as camping and barbecuing. Parents can help us by reminding their children of how starting a fire could mean a huge fine or even a prison sentence. By following our simple safety tips you will help protect the countryside, and help to prevent fires starting in the first place.”
Keep matches and lighters out of the way of children and remind them that they are not toys
If you are a parent you are strongly advised not to leave young people to wander in the countryside unsupervised. Ensure that they are aware of the dangers of fire
Don't light fires in the countryside or drop litter which could be set alight
Don't accumulate rubbish which can act as potential fuel for deliberate fire setters
Contact your local district or borough council to arrange collection of unwanted furniture, or to report abandoned vehicles or fly tipped waste (Clean Kent 24 hour reporting line – 0845 345 0210)
Report any information about illegal fire setting activities and those responsible (anonymously) to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
For further fire safety advice go to www.kent.fire-uk.org or call 0800 923 7000.