Cleveland Fire Brigade’s “Wheel It In” campaign aims to cut Easter fire risks

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Rising concern over wheelie bin fires prompts action

The Cleveland Fire Brigade has issued a call to action for community members to help mitigate the risk of wheelie bin fires during the Easter holidays.

This appeal is part of the Brigade’s Spring Arson campaign, running from 18th March to 15th April 2024, which aims to significantly decrease the incidents of deliberate fires.

The Brigade often sees an increase in such fires over the Easter period, attributed to school holidays and rising temperatures, which in March 2023 resulted in costs of approximately £1.43m to the Teesside economy.

The “Wheel It In” campaign focuses on prevention

The campaign specifically targets the reduction of wheelie bin fires, which pose a serious risk of spreading to properties and endangering lives.

Between 1st June 2023 and 6th March 2024, the Cleveland area recorded 192 wheelie bin fires, with 179 deemed deliberate.

Robin Turnbull, Area Manager of Prevention, Protection, and Engagement, stressed the importance of community involvement: “We’d like our residents to play their part in helping us to reduce these senseless and preventable deliberate fires which are a huge blight on our communities.”

Practical advice for residents

Residents are encouraged to take simple steps to protect their property and community from fire risks.

Suggestions include only placing bins out on collection day, avoiding overfilling, secure storage away from the property, and careful disposal of cigarettes.

Turnbull also highlighted the role of residents in vigilance and reporting: “Residents are urged to report any information they have about deliberate fires, no matter how insignificant it may seem, anonymously to FireStoppers.”

IFSJ Comment

By focusing on practical prevention measures and encouraging public participation, the Brigade aims to safeguard both property and lives during the high-risk Easter period.

This initiative addresses the immediate threat of wheelie bin fires and contributes to a broader strategy of fire risk management.

Community involvement is essential in this endeavour, as residents’ actions and vigilance can significantly deter potential arsonists.

The campaign’s success will depend on the collective effort of the Cleveland community to heed the Brigade’s advice and actively participate in fire prevention measures.

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