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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Warning Following Eight Barn Fires in One Month

24/08/2011

Barn owners are being urged to ensure their barns are properly secured and items inside are stored appropriately following eight barn fires countywide in just one month.

"Unfortunately there are selfish and inconsiderate people who will start fires deliberately."

Head of Risk Reduction, Ian Sloss

Staffordshire firefighters have spent a staggering 84 hours fighting eight separate barn fires across Staffordshire since July 14th.

Two major barn fires broke out in East Staffordshire last Wednesday with both taking over 24 hours to extinguish due to the large amount of hay involved.

Three of the eight fires were deliberately started, which has prompted firefighters to urge barn owners to ensure they have adequate safety measures in place to protect their barns.

Head of Risk Reduction, Ian Sloss said: "Unfortunately there are selfish and inconsiderate people who will start fires deliberately and do not consider the consequences of their actions.

"Fire appliances and firefighters can quite easily be tied up for hours dealing with barn fires, as it is often hay being stored inside which ignites quickly and burns slowly.

"This means those appliances are not available to attend to other incidents, which means appliances may need to come from further afield if any other incidents were to happen nearby.

"The people who start fires also do not take into account the financial loss they’re causing the barn owner, both from whatever was being stored in the barn and the building itself.

"Fire can quite easily and rapidly spread so nearby buildings and animals are also at risk from people’s thoughtless behaviour.

"We have also attended a few barn fires recently which appear to have been caused by hay spontaneously igniting, something that can happen when hay bales are stored and still hold a high level of moisture.

"We would urge anyone storing items in barns to take the time to check they are storing items safely and appropriately and if in doubt, seek advice from the Fire Service."