Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service (MFRS) is urging residents to help prevent their household wheelie bins becoming targets for arsonists over the Bonfire period.
Arson attacks on wheelie bins and refuse containers in the Merseyside area have increased in the last seven years around Bonfire night, with 62 incidents taking place over the bonfire period last year, compared to the same period in 2014 when 41 were recorded.
Domestic refuse bins can become easy fire targets outside properties particularly if they are left out after collection days.
Already this year, since the start of October, crews from MFRS have dealt with 61 fires linked to wheelie bins and refuse containers across Merseyside, 27 of them since the 19th October.
With the risk of arson attacks on wheelie bins likely to increase in the next week during the run up to Bonfire night itself, residents are being asked to be extra vigilant and keep their bins in safe areas.
Station Manager Joe Cunliffe said: “The risk of wheelie bins being targeted during the run up to Bonfire night has increased in recent years and the figures in Merseyside in 2020 and so far this year reflect that.
“It might seem like a bit of harmless fun but setting fire to wheelie bins is irresponsible and dangerous behaviour. These fires can have serious consequences and can quickly spread to nearby property, putting the lives of those within them at risk.
“We would urge local residents to take care in helping to minimise the risk of their bins being targeted. Only put your bin out on the day of collection and bring it back in immediately. Store it in a safe area away from windows and doors if possible.”
For fire safety advice, or if you do not have working smoke alarms in your property, call 0800 731 5958. For more tips on staying safe this Halloween & Bonfire, check out Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service’s Facebook (@MerseyFire), Twitter (@MerseyFire), Instagram (@Mersey_Fire) and YouTube (@MerseyFire) or visit www.merseyfire.gov.uk