With half term approaching Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service is reminding children and parents ‘Flames Aren’t Games’ as part of its grass fire prevention campaign.
“Starting a fire deliberately is not big, funny or clever – it’s a crime and it wont be tolerated."
Head of Risk Reduction, Glynn Luznyj
The Fire Service always sees an increase in grass fires during periods when children are not at school and last year 44% of all grass fires took place during school holidays.
Between July and September last year the Service attended over 440 grass fires – 64% took place during the summer holidays and a shocking 83% of the fires had been deliberately started.
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.
“A grass fire can quickly spread and it does not take much for clothing to set on fire and before you know it, a child could have horrific burns which could claim their life.
“For every call we receive about a grass fire there could be a person desperately trying to get out of a burning building or trapped in a car crash in urgent need of our assistance.”
The Service is encouraging parents to talk to their children about the dangers of playing with fire and firefighters have visited schools across the county during term time to educate children about grass fires.
Glynn added: “Starting a fire deliberately is not big, funny or clever – it’s a crime and it wont be tolerated. We work with Staffordshire Police to do everything in our power to find and punish anyone deliberately wasting our time and endangering lives by starting fires maliciously.”
If you see anyone acting suspiciously or starting a fire call 999 straight away. If you have information about anyone starting fires deliberately inform the police using the 101 number or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.