Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service

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Fire Service and partners launch community campaign for Arson Awareness Week

Fire Service and partners launch community campaign for Arson Awareness Week

Monday, 18 March 2019

Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service will join forces with partner agencies across the region this week (18th- 22nd March) to highlight the dangers of deliberate fire setting as part of Arson Awareness Week.

The initiative, which runs from Monday March 18th to Friday March 22nd, will see Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service team up with Merseyside Police, local authorities, housing providers and other agencies to highlight the potentially lethal consequences of arson.

During the past five years, fire crews in Merseyside have had to tackle nearly 20,500 deliberate fires involving rubbish, bins and grass, and 2,800 deliberate fires involving vehicles.

As part of the campaign to tackle this problem, fire service staff, advocates, PCSOs and volunteers will visit homes and businesses in St Helens, Knowsley. Liverpool North, Liverpool South, Wirral and Sefton during the week to carry out Home Fire Safety Checks, distribute information leaflets and identify residents who may be vulnerable.

Michael Buratti, Arson Reduction Manager for Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service, said: “The figures from the last five years show that arson is a huge issue for both local communities and our service, with sometimes deadly consequences for those affected.

“Arson Awareness Week will see organisations from across our county come together to raise awareness of the dangers of arson and the impact fires have on our communities.

“Arson is a serious criminal offence which puts people’s lives at risk, causes damage to homes, businesses and community facilities and impacts on wildlife and the environment.

“It can range from mindless criminal damage to a deliberately-targeted attack but, either way, the potentially lethal results remain the same.

“If fire appliances are called out to deliberate fires this may delay the response to other emergencies, which could endanger lives elsewhere.

“We want to make people aware that deliberately setting fires in a public place is arson and, if caught, those responsible may face legal action.”

Tips on how to protect your property from arson:

• Ensure you have effective security. It is the best defence against arson.
• Entry gates should be secured, unless in use, to prevent access by intruders.
• Make sure any damage to fencing is repaired promptly to deter intruders.
• Fit good quality external doors.
• Close windows when not at home.
• Consider security systems such as intruder alarms/security lighting to deter intruders.
• Sheds and garages should be well secured as they often contain tools that can be used to force entry in to the home. They also often contain flammable liquids.
• Look after your wheelie bin. If possible, place out on the morning of collection and return to your property as soon as possible after collection.
• Burning materials (including fireworks) can be pushed through letter boxes. Consider fitting a metal container or lockable flap.
• Make sure you have working smoke alarms on every level of your home and test them monthly.
• If you see anyone setting fires in your community report it to the police immediately or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

• Avoid placing bins, rubbish, or other combustible items against the walls of the home. These are a ready supply of fuel for arsonists.
• Don’t leave flammable liquids in the open.
• Never store your wheelie bin near windows or doors.

Corporate Communications

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