An experienced firefighter has spoken out about the risk of deliberate fires - and asked the community for support.
Deliberately set fires are dangerous. They can result in injury, property damage and environmental pollution.
They also place an unnecessary burden on Scottish Fire and Rescue Service resources - at a traditionally busy time of year for firefighters.
Ben Law is the Station Manager for Prevention and Protection in Aberdeenshire and Moray.
He said: "We unfortunately see an increase in the number of deliberate fires across the country during the Spring season.
"These incidents range from rubbish and refuse fires to vehicles being set alight.
"During Spring our personnel work around the clock - not just fighting fires, but visiting schools and youth groups to engage with young people.
"We would urge parents to ensure that their children know about and understand the potentially tragic consequences deliberate fires can have, as well as the impact for responding emergency services.
"Fire setting is an offence – don’t accept it, report it.”
SFRS works with partner agencies Police Scotland and Crimestoppers Scotland to prevent fires and highlight the need to report fire offending.
Station Manager Ben Law
SM Law said: "We shall continue to work with our Police Scotland colleagues to ensure any deliberate fire is fully investigated.
"We ask local residents and businesses to ensure that rubbish does not accumulate outside their property and that wheelie bins are stored in a safe and secure area until collection.
"Bin and rubbish fires can quickly take hold and spread to buildings and vehicles, posing a major risk to life and property.
"Anyone with information on deliberate fires can contact Police Scotland on 101 or anonymously through Crimestoppers on 0800 55 111."
SIX WAYS YOU CAN JOIN SCOTLAND'S FIGHT AGAINST FIRE
- Being aware of strangers loitering in your street – if they do so for some time, inform Police Scotland on the non-emergency number 101.
- Contacting Police Scotland via the non-emergency number 101 to share information on anyone who deliberately sets fires. Alternatively, give the information anonymously by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
- Reporting any build-up of rubbish to your local authority or community fire station. This will help ensure it can be removed and prevent fires.
- Ensuring you are aware of where the children or young people you look after are – and what they’re doing.
- Making sure that children and young people are aware of the risks of playing with fire and the consequences of deliberately setting a fire.
- Reporting any fly-tipping directly to your local authority or to the National Dumb Dumpers Stop line on 0845 230 40 90.