Enjoy a Fire Free Summer

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The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) is appealing to the public to stay safe from fire this summer and take steps now to protect themselves, their homes, communities and businesses.

Grassfire

As Scotland begins to enjoy the sunshine, SFRS is reminding the public that the change in the weather can bring with it a variety of fire hazards.

From the 30 June to the 29 August 2014 there were 1048 grassland, woodland and crop fires in Scotland – a number of which could have been prevented. We need the public to join Scotland’s fight against fire now and take preventative steps to keep fire at bay.

Assistant Chief Officer Lewis Ramsay, Director of Prevention and Protection, SFRS, said:

“We want people to have an enjoyable summer and one that’s memorable for the right reasons. Every year as temperatures rise, the sunshine brings with it an increase in the amount of both accidental and deliberate fires.

“Last year there were 2557 deliberate fires in Scotland in July and August alone. Whilst that number was a reduction from the previous year, with 3300 deliberate fires, we need the public to take our message on board and do what they can to further reduce these types of fires.

“Every year as the school holidays begin we see a spike in the amount of deliberate fires set by children who do so for ‘fun’. We’re urging parents and carers to visit the Summer Safety page of our website at www.firescotland.gov.uk to find out more about the risks and explain now to their children the tragic consequences these fires can have.

“As we enter the summer period, SFRS will also see a rise in the amount of accidental fires, such as rubbish and refuse fires, or grassland, heathland and forest fires. Again, there are simple steps that can be taken now to prevent these fires with information available at www.firescotland.gov.uk.”

When enjoying the great outdoors this summer remember:

• Make sure you extinguish and dispose of any smoking materials properly. Never throw a lit cigar or cigarette away in a rural environment as they have the potential to cause serious fires during the drier summer months

• Don’t leave glass or bottles out in the open. Dispose of them in bins. The sun’s rays, reflected through glass, has the potential to cause a wildfire or serious grassland fire

• Make sure recreational fires are made in a fire safe pit or container and that they are properly extinguished before you leave

• If a fire occurs in the countryside, no matter how small, report it by calling 999 and asking for the fire service immediately as fire has the potential to turn into a wildfire very rapidly

• Many outdoor fires are started deliberately or are due to careless, reckless or irresponsible behaviour. If you suspect someone of acting in such a manner then join Scotland’s fight against fire and contact Police Scotland on 101 or pass information anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

We need the public to join Scotland’s fight against fire and book a free home fire safety visit by calling SFRS on the freephone number 0800 073 1999, by texting ‘FIRE’ to 80800 or via the SFRS website at www.firescotland.gov.uk.

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