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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Rise in secondary fires sparks warning from Service

26/5/2017

fire fighter tackling blaze

The number of outdoor fires in Staffordshire has more than tripled this spring compared to last year.

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service is urging residents to be careful when burning bonfires and to teach their children the dangers of starting fires after the dramatic rise.

“It is very concerning to see such a dramatic rise in secondary fires, particularly those started deliberately.

“We cannot stress enough how dangerous these fires can be. When youngsters start fires deliberately they are putting their lives at risk as well as the safety of others around them."

Director of Prevent and protect Glynn Luznjy


Between January and April 2016 there were 181 secondary fires throughout the county, this has risen to 590 during the same period of this year. It is believed that 448 of these incidents (76 per cent) were caused deliberately leading the Service to highlight its Flames Aren’t Games Campaign.

The warning comes in the approach of the half term school holidays and the May Bank Holiday as history shows these figures also tend to increase whilst young people are off school.

The figures include all secondary fires, such as bonfires, grass, shed, bin field and park fires etc

Director of Prevent and Protect Gylnn Luznyj said: “It is very concerning to see such a dramatic rise in secondary fires, particularly those started deliberately.

“We cannot stress enough how dangerous these fires can be. When youngsters start fires deliberately they are putting their lives at risk as well as the safety of others around them.

“Dealing with these incidents takes up time and resources which could be used helping others in the community or responding to people who are potentially in life threatening situations.

“We would also ask parents, guardians and the wider community at large to assist us in re-enforcing this safety message. The secondary fires campaign will continue throughout the summer months.

“Anti-social behaviour such as this can have long lasting consequences for the culprits, including a fine or even a prison sentence and having a criminal record, can impact on the future career prospects of those responsible. It may seem like a bit of fun at the time for some people, but the possible repercussions are no laughing matter.

“It is also very important to ensure cigarettes are put out properly as a lit cigarette can easily cause a significant fire in these dry conditions. Please dispose of all smoking materials in an appropriate ash tray.

“For those burning any refuse or materials outdoors please make sure you do not leave the fire unattended and ensure it is completely out before you leave otherwise they can spread very quickly to nearby buildings and plant life. If a fire does get out of control please call us and do not try and tackle it yourself.”