Please see safety message below from our Community Planning Partner Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS). Visit the SFRS website for more help and advice.
During the Spring months we effectively communicate the dangers and risks of deliberate fire-setting – a key period when this criminal activity increases significantly across Scotland. Even more so during this COVID–19 epidemic when the reduction of refuse collections may come into effect, and refuse could become stock piled in and around properties which in turn can lead to an increase in deliberate fires and fly tipping in the countryside. We want to highlight the importance of reporting such activity to ensure we reduce these kind of fires.
- “We take a zero-tolerance approach to deliberate fire setting and it is a small minority of individuals who are potentially putting themselves, our firefighters and innocent bystanders at risk of serious harm and injury”.
- “Make no mistake – fire can cause injury and death, it can be devastating to properties, businesses and the environment”.
- “These incidents are a needless drain on our resources and can impact on our response to genuine emergencies – where lives might very well be at risk”.
We would also like to highlight the devastating impact of wildfires and large outdoor fires at this time of the year.
Wild and grass fires can start by the careless disposal of cigarettes and barbecues or campfires left unattended. They then have the potential to burn for days and devastate vast areas of land, wildlife and threaten the welfare of nearby communities.
- “Many rural and remote communities are hugely impacted by wildfires, which can cause significant damage”.
- “Livestock, farmland, wildlife, protected woodland and sites of special scientific interest can all be devastated by these fires - as can the lives of people living and working in rural communities”.
- “These fires can also have a hugely negative impact on the environment and the release of greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere”.
- “Human behaviour can significantly lower the chance of a wildfire starting so it is crucial that people act safely and responsibly in rural environments and follow the countryside code”.
- “Grass and wildfires are a common risk at this time of year when warmer weather dries out vegetation – especially dead winter foliage – which offers an ample fuel source”.
- “Just one heat source like a campfire ember can cause it to ignite and if the wind changes direction even the smallest fire can spread uncontrollably and devastate entire hillsides.”
Remember and act responsibly when out in the countryside and report any discarded camp fires or barbeques.
General home fire safety
During this COVID-19 epidemic, there is a huge proportion of the population isolated within their homes. We would like to ensure that people remain safe within their homes during this time especially due to SFRS’s reduced activity around home fire safety visits. We would like to inform the public of the following:
- Ensure every home has a working smoke alarm which should be tested on a weekly basis.
- If a smoke alarm previously fitted by SFRS develops a fault then please contact your local Community Fire Station and they will arrange to come and replace it free of charge.
- Ensure people are careful and dispose of any smoking materials in a responsible manner.
- Do not leave cooking unattended as cooking is the main cause of fires within the home especially when the use of alcohol has taken place.
- Always switch appliances like TVs off at the mains and do not leave on stand-by. Do not leave washing machines/tumble dryers unattended when in use.
- Don’t leave mobile phones on charge overnight. Always unplug the chargers once the phone/tablet are fully charged.
- Always buy replacement phone/tablet/e-cigarette chargers from reputable shops and not from the internet.
- Always be careful when using candles or scented burners. Do not leave them unattended.
- When using fire pits, ensure they are a safe distance away from the house and any other combustible structures/materials. Ensure you put them out with water before retiring to your home.
- Always have an escape plan and make sure everyone in the household is aware of this plan.
- In the event of a fire, get everyone out and dial 999.