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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

‘Flames Aren’t Games’ Grass Fire Campaign

26/03/2012

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service has launched its annual campaign to highlight the dangers of deliberately starting grass fires after statistics revealed there were over 1000 grass fires in the county last year.

 "Our ultimate aim is to bring about a culture change which makes fire setting socially unacceptable."

Head of Risk Reduction, Glynn Luznyj

The Service tends to see a dangerous increase in grass fires over the school holidays, which is often due to children and teenagers starting fires deliberately. Of the 1,191 grass fires last year, nearly half were started during the school holidays and 86% of all grass fires were deliberately started.

This year, Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service are educating young people about the dangers of starting fires deliberately and will visit schools and distribute to promote the ‘Flames Aren’t Games. Grass Fires Kill’ message.

Head of Risk Reduction, Glynn Luznyj said: "Young people who start grass fires seem oblivious to the fact that they are endangering their own lives as well as firefighters. 

"For every call we receive about a grass fire there could be a person somewhere else desperately trying to get out of a burning building or trapped in a car crash in urgent need of our assistance.

"Attending unnecessary fires also means that crews are also not able to carry out vital prevention work such as carrying out free Home Fire Risk Checks and communicating important safety advice and information to the most vulnerable members of the community.

"We would encourage parents to remind their children of the dangers of starting grass fires and also ensure they are aware that deliberately starting a fire of any size is treated as arson, the consequences of which if caught are very serious.

"The impact on the surrounding environment is never taken into account when people start fires, particularly in the more rural areas. 

 "We are pleased that our campaign last year did appear to have a positive impact, as grass fires were significantly reduced compared to the previous year.

"However, we still experienced well over 1,000 grass fires across Staffordshire last year, the majority of which were deliberately started and that meant hours of firefighting time was taken up dealing with those incidents.

 "Our ultimate aim is to bring about a culture change which makes fire setting socially unacceptable."