News release text
Crews are asking people to ensure hot items are allowed to cool before being discarded following a number of bin fires across the county in recent days.
Firefighters attended three incidents yesterday alone (Wednesday), where hot items were placed in bins leading to the containers catching alight.
The first fire was caused by burnt paper being placed in a skip in Cardens Road in Cliffe Woods, resulting in the rest of the materials in the skip catching alight. This was followed by two similar fires in Canterbury and West Malling where cigarettes were placed in rubbish bins before being fully extinguished, causing minor fires.
Crews in Larkfield attended a far more serious fire last week (3 May), where a wheelie bin caught alight after contents from an open fire were placed into the container before being allowed to cool catching the bin alight. The fire then spread to nearby sheds and the windows of an adjacent property.
KFRS Station Manager Mark Woodward said: “Smoking materials such as cigarettes keep their heat for a long time so it’s important that these are allowed to cool sufficiently before being thrown into a bin. This also applied to barbeque coals which can even still be hot enough to catch a plastic wheelie bin alight the morning after they’ve been used. The safest option is to pour water on the coals.
“I would also recommend people avoid placing wheelie bins, rubbish, or other combustible items against the walls of your home or next to fences or wooden sheds. This will help prevent potential fires from spreading to surrounding property.”