Fire & Rescue Service urges extra precautions during hot weather

Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service have urged the public to be particularly careful during the current spell of hot weather.
Last year there were significant fires at Bidston Hill, Wirral, Harrison Park, Wirral, Sherdley Park, St. Helens and Formby & Ainsdale Pine Woods. These fire caused extensive damage to our natural environment and public amenities, with the swift action of firefighters preventing further destruction.

Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service has already seen a rise in incidents involving grass and trees since the beginning of the school holidays and the very hot weather we are experiencing. Some of the fires in Merseyside last year and in the current hot period are believed to have been started deliberately and parents are urged to discuss the very serious consequences of arson with their children.

In addition to this, there are a number of ways people can reduce the risk of grassland and woodland fires:

• Ensure cigarettes are extinguished correctly and cannot reignite - don’t throw cigarette ends on the ground – take your litter home.
• Never throw cigarette ends out of car windows.
• Avoid using open fires in the countryside.
• Don’t leave bottles or glass in woodland – sunlight shining through glass can start fires (take them home and recycle them).
• Only use barbecues in a suitable and safe area and never leave them unattended.
• If you see a fire, report it to the fire and rescue service immediately by calling 999 and give the nearest main road that the fire appliance can access.
• Don’t attempt to tackle fires– leave the area as quickly as possible.

MFRS Arson officers will be very active throughout the hot period to prevent further fires starting. The public are urged to be vigilant and report any suspicious behaviour to MFRS and Merseyside Police.

Community Safety Coordinator, Michael Buratti said: "The current conditions are creating the ideal environment for fires to start in woodland and grassland. We would urge the public to be especially careful in the hot weather and dispose of rubbish and barbecues safely.

We would also remind, particularly parents, that deliberately setting a fire is arson. Deliberate fires are investigated. Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service’s Arson Team will be working with Merseyside Police, Local Authorities and other partner agencies to identify offenders. Please speak to your children about the very real consequences of arson for them and others."

For free fire safety advice or to request a home fire safety check, call 0800 731 5958.

Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service also provides free smoke alarms for Merseyside residents aged 65 or over or those referred by partner agencies.