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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Parents urged to warn children of the dangers of derelict buildings

16/06/2017

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service are urging parents to warn their children about the dangers of playing in derelict buildings after a boy was injured in Stoke-on-Trent.

"I would urge parents to know the whereabouts of your children when they go out after school, at weekends and during the holidays and talk to them about staying safe while they’re out. While the vast majority of young people wouldn’t dream of playing in derelict buildings, there are some who may be unaware of the huge danger they face if they do so."

Prevent Manager Donna Broadhead

The warning comes as the summer holidays are fast approaching and follows a number of incidents in recent months where void properties in Stoke-on-Trent have been set alight.

The risk posed to young people if they are playing in the buildings is significant and is highlighted by an incident yesterday, Thursday June 15. At around 7pm the Service were called to assist colleagues from the ambulance service after a teenage boy was reported to have fallen approximately eight to 10ft inside a disused building in Hanley.

The boy is believed to have suffered head, chest and pelvic injuries. Crews from Hanley helped paramedics get the boy safely out of the building and onto an ambulance to be taken to hospital.

Donna Broadhead, Prevent Manager for the north of the county, said: “This incident highlights just how dangerous these buildings are, and that is without the added risk of a fire.

“I would urge parents to know the whereabouts of your children when they go out after school, at weekends and during the holidays and talk to them about staying safe while they’re out. While the vast majority of young people wouldn’t dream of playing in derelict buildings, there are some who may be unaware of the huge danger they face if they do so.

“The floors in such properties are often unsafe and could collapse leading to serious injury or even death. If someone decides to light a fire inside or deliberately set light to the building, those inside may be unable to escape and the consequences of this could be absolutely catastrophic.

“Throughout the summer we will be working closely with partners, such as local sports clubs and Stoke-on-Trent City Council, to provide fun organised events and activities where young people can spend their time positively over the long summer break.

“Keep a look out for details of upcoming events and activities on our social media pages and website.”