News release text
Dartford firefighters are supporting a new campaign to help stamp out arsonists putting lives at risk.
In the nine weeks from 16 February to 18 April 2014, firefighters have been called to nine separate incidents in the Bridge Estate area; involving vehicle fires, rubbish and furniture that have been set alight, undergrowth and grass fires – all but two were started deliberately.
Dartford Crew Manager, Gary Miller said: “While we’re dealing with these types of incidents, someone’s life could be in genuine danger in a house fire or a car crash. So we’re looking for the residents support to help us stamp out deliberate firesetting in their neighbourhood.
“These incidents are almost always started deliberately by people who have nothing better to do than look for things to set fire to and therefore if there is rubbish lying around, or a wheelie bin sitting in the middle of a pavement, they will just act.”
He added: “We all feel the effects of arson through the detrimental effect it can have on communities and the lives of people within them as well as higher insurance premiums. So in the coming weeks, we’ll be delivering fire safety advice to homes and visiting schools to warn students about the dangers of starting deliberate fires.”
With support from the Bridge Estate Management team, firefighters will be talking with residents about the steps they can take to keep their families safe from fire such as keeping escape routes rubbish free. This will help them get out quicker if there is a fire in their home. Other messages include the importance of not storing rubbish by doors, windows or other openings as once started, fires can spread quickly to buildings. Residents should also make sure they have a fire escape plan that everyone in their home knows.
Jane Allen from the Bridge Estate Management Team said: “Our monthly newsletters will include fire safety advice so that residents know there’s no need to burn rubbish or dump it where it can act as a potential fire hazard and be targeted by arsonists. It can be taken to the tip or they can contact the local council for advice on how to get rid of it. We’ll be encouraging our residents to work with us and Kent Fire and Rescue Service to keep the area a great place in which to live, work and play.”
Gary added: “This joint approach allows us to work more effectively together to make a real difference to the lives of people living in the area. We’ll be promoting key safety messages to the community and in particular to those who are more vulnerable, while reducing the risk and impact of fire on local businesses and the community as a whole.”
Gary is also encouraging anyone with information about deliberate firesetters to pass on what they know to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.