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News release archive

News release archive

Archived news releases from Kent Fire and Rescue Service

This page contains a searchable archive of news releases from January 2013 until August 2014.

News releases from September 2014 and onwards can be found here:

Kent firefighters urge residents to heed safety warnings to prevent outdoor and rubbish fires

Publication date
15 July 2014
News release text
Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) is urging residents and visitors to help protect the county’s outdoor spaces by taking extra care not to cause a fire through carelessness this summer. 
 
With the summer holidays fast approaching and temperatures set to rise throughout this week, many people will be taking the opportunity to get outdoors and enjoy Kent and Medway’s countryside. 
 
But the warm weather can spark an increase in the number of grassland, crop and woodland fires KFRS attends. In dry conditions, fires in vegetation can spread rapidly, destroying vast swathes of countryside, potentially putting the lives of residents and firefighters at risk. 
 
KFRS Director of Operations Sean Bone-Knell said: “Unfortunately, many of these fires are preventable. Often they are caused by people who have dropped cigarette ends while out walking, or discarded them from car windows. During sunny spells, even a glass bottle or broken glass can set light to grass verges and other outdoor spaces. 
 
It is also very tempting while out camping to start bonfires or to use disposable barbecues on picnics, but these can easily burn out of control.” 
 
Sean added: “Fires in woodland can be extremely difficult to put out, as they often lead to deep seated smouldering fires that can spread underground. Often these areas are difficult to access with fire engines and an also tie up our fire crews for long periods of time. 
 
We would urge people to take their rubbish home with them and to take extra care not to start a fire, especially during the strike periods this week, when resources will be limited. 
 
Parents can help us by reminding their children of the serious consequences of starting deliberate fires, which 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.” 
 
Follow these safety tips to help prevent outdoor fires: 
 
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.safersummer.info or call 0800 923 7000.
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