Cambs Fire Service: Reducing the risk of arson

WE are doing all we can, working closely with partnership agencies to reduce the number of deliberate fires in the county. But we need your help too, particularly at Christmas time when residents have a large amount of packaging and wrapping paper to disp

WE are doing all we can, working closely with partnership agencies to reduce the number of deliberate fires in the county.

But we need your help too, particularly at Christmas time when residents have a large amount of packaging and wrapping paper to dispose of in bins.

There are simple steps that residents and business owners can do to reduce the risk of being a victim of arson.

We have put together the following advice to help you understand how you can reduce the likelihood of arson occurring in the areas in which you work and live.


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Remove the opportunity

• Be careful when disposing of the paper and packaging. A wheelie bin full to the brim of flammables could present an opportunity for a would-be arsonist. If possible, keep your wheelie bin in a locked and secure place away from the house. If this is not possible, consider waiting until the collection day to put paper and packaging inside.

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• Keep your bins out of sight - for example, in your rear garden or keep them stored in a shed or garage until they are due for collection.

• Businesses should keep their rubbish away from their buildings. If bins are set on fire and they are next to buildings, the fire can spread to the building itself.

• Keep matches, lighters, petrol cans and other flammable or fire-starting materials out of sight and safe

Shine some light on the situation

Security lights are a good idea, because they prevent those intent on committing arson from hiding in the dark. If you must leave your wheelie bins in a vulnerable location for long periods, using security lights can help deter would-be arsonists.

Capture the offenders in the act

Security cameras not only act as a deterrent but offer the added advantage of being able to record crimes as they occur. These are a particularly good idea for commercial premises, especially in cases where rubbish must be left unattended for long periods of time.

Don't play with fire

Small fires can get out of control very quickly indeed and this can cause tragedy. Fire can spread quicker than a person can run. Playing with fire is not fun. It is extremely dangerous and it is important that parents and guardians explain these dangers to their children.

If you believe your child has an unhealthy interest or fascination with fire, or you know they play with fire, contact your local fire station, or log onto the Firesetter intervention page on www.cambsfire.gov.uk.

Understanding peer pressure

The basic fact is that arson kills people. Don't give into peer pressure and don't get involved.

Report ALL fires

If we don't know about them we cannot help, so don't be afraid to tell us about a fire even if you think it is too small to be of concern to us.

Your children

Do you know what your children are doing? Do they come home smelling of smoke or petrol? If you believe your child has an unhealthy interest or fascination with fire, or you know they play with fire, contact your local fire station, or log onto the Firesetter intervention page on www.cambsfire.gov.uk.

Want more help and advice?

Phone 01480 444666, or find the name and contact number of your local risk manager and community safety officer on our district pages at www.cambsfire.gov.uk

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