Firefighters have teamed up with their local Asda store so that shoppers can do their grocery shopping and pick up vital community safety advice at the same time.
Thames-side fire crews will be on hand to talk to customers about the importance of taking extra care when having bonfires, garden fires and BBQs. The crews will be at the Thamesview Retail Park store Friday, 7 August, handing out leaflets and offering advice from 10.30am.
Crew Manager Dave Aylwin said: “Our firefighters train hard and are extremely experienced but any blaze can lead to tragedy and our aim is also to prevent fires from happening in the first place.
“There are some important safety messages we are hoping people will take home from their shopping trip – don’t start a fire while drinking alcohol, be aware of the risks and how to avoid letting your fire get out of control.”
Between 1 April and 27 July there have been 196 fires in the Thames Gateway area compared with 93 in the same period last year. Some are accidental and caused by carelessness, 60 per cent were deliberate.
Dave added: “We are really grateful to Asda for giving us the opportunity to get into the heart of the community. Outdoor fires whether deliberate or accidental could put someone’s life at risk and have an impact on the whole community. They waste time, money and could delay our crews getting to real emergencies.
Follow these tips to stay safe and help protect the countryside:
Please dispose of cigarettes carefully and never throw cigarette ends out of car windows – they can start fires and ruin whole fields of crops and heathland
Sunlight shining through glass can start fires – please take all your rubbish home with you
Phone 999 and ask for the fire service if you spot a fire
If you're unsure about your location tell us about landmarks that you can see such as a pub or church, which will help us pinpoint where you are
Contact Kent Police 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.
While at the store, the crew will be given a £200 cheque after ASDA staff and customers chose the Firefighters Charity to be part of their Green Token Community Scheme,
Dave added: “We’re really grateful to Asda and its customers for their support. The Firefighters charity makes a positive difference by supporting people in the fire and rescue community when they are in need.”
Visit our campaign page for more information, top tips on barbecue and bonfire safety and handy links to alternative ways to disposal of garden waste.
Note to news desks:
Photographers are invited to attend the cheque presentation and meet fire crews, Asda staff and customers at the Asda store in Gravesend from 10.30am on Friday 7 August 2015.