Teenage Caveman – Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service’s latest recruit – is off to the County Show next week to help raise awareness of the consequences of lighting grass fires.
“We urge young people to think about the personal and the wider consequences of deliberately setting fires,” Glynn Luznyj, Head of Risk Reduction.
So far this year there have been 775 small fires in Staffordshire, the vast majority of which were deliberately started and in the northern area of the county.
Evidence shows the figures rise dramatically during school holidays – over the Easter break alone there were 187 small fires – and with half-term and warmer weather on the horizon the Service is keen to hit home the message that setting grass fires isn’t cool.
The Service has launched a new video targeting teenage fire-setters and the penalty they face if convicted – a maximum £5,000 fine or a prison sentence of up to two years. .
The Teenage Caveman animated story is about a group of young people who get bored and think about starting a grass fire.
Life-sized Teenage Cavemen cut-outs will get their first outing at Staffordshire County Show on May 29 and 30 and visitors will get the chance to design their own caveman character using an interactive board.
The video is part of the Service’s Flames Aren’t Games campaign and is on social media channels, plasma screens in fire stations and the Service’s website. It will also be used in fire prevention work in schools and colleges.
Head of Risk Reduction, Glynn Luznyj said: “Starting a grass fire, however small, is a crime and arsonists face a criminal record and severe penalties, including a prison sentence of up to two years.
“Grass fires endanger the lives of those who set them as well as the firefighters who put them out. They also tie up valuable and expensive resources, which means fire crews and appliances are unavailable to attend genuine emergencies such as house fires and road accidents.
“We urge young people to think about the personal and the wider consequences of deliberately setting fires.”
Watch the Teenage Caveman video at http://youtu.be/xINXFdZyh1M
Note to Editor
Deliberate and accidental small fires in Staffordshire, January 1- May 21:
2013: 775 (Northern: 542; Eastern: 123; Western: 110)
2012: 758 (Northern: 429; Eastern: 166; Western: 163)
2011: 1163 (Northern: 690; Eastern: 203; Western: 270)