Your Safety

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Reduction in Refuse Collections

With reduced bin collections at this time it is important that flammable items like cardboard or paper are safely stored.

If your bin for these materials is full, you can help prevent the accumulation of carboard and paper starting fires by following our advice:

  • Consider storing your excess dry paper, cardboard and washed plastic and glass recycling in bags in a shed, garage or available bin stores until normal service resumes.
  • Keep your garage and shed locked if cardboard and paper is being stored in these locations
  • Keep carboard and paper away from naked flames or heat sources such as cookers or heaters
  • If possible, keep away from electrical sockets, chargers and multi-point adaptors
  • Keep all flammable liquids locked away
  • Warn other people if a fire breaks out. Then get out, stay out and call the fire and rescue service out by ringing 999
  • Report any build-up of rubbish to your Local Authority or community fire station. This will help ensure it can be removed and prevent fires
  • Report any fly-tipping direct to your Local Authority or online Dumb Dumpers

Remember NOT to:

  • Allow cardboard and paper storage to block escape routes
  • Store cardboard and paper by doors, windows or any other openings
  • Store bins or sacks up against your home as fire can quickly spread to buildings
  • Overfill your bin or leave rubbish around it
  • Smoke in or around storage areas
  • Put bins out for emptying until the day your refuse is collected
  • Don’t accept deliberate fire-setting in your community - it’s a crime that threatens lives – report it to the police

Get up to date local authority info on bin collection and recycling.


Accumulation of Rubbish in Commercial Premises

With reduced bin collections at this time it is also important that dutyholders and responsible persons carry out ongoing monitoring and review of refuse storage to minimise risk of fire. Consider the following:

  • Loose storage, bins and waste external to the building should be sited well away from the building so that any fire cannot affect external walls or overhanging eaves
  • External bins and storage containers should be secured to prevent movement
  • Carry out regular checks to ensure that storage arrangements are appropriate
  • An effective strategy should be in place to reduce the likelihood of a fire starting
  • Combustible material in external storage areas should be divided into separate stacks or piles with sufficient space separation between them to restrict the spread of fire
  • Consider whether you need to create additional temporary storage capacity to ensure any excess of refuse is safely stored and that risk of fire is minimised


The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service advises members of the public that lighting bonfires is dangerous.  They can cause injury, spread to nearby buildings such as homes and businesses and also damage the environment. Some people may be tempted to burn refuse due to the current reduction of refuse uplift services in some area of the country amidst present social distancing measures.

We recommend you AVOID lighting a bonfire to dispose of garden waste or other items and do not burn refuse. Please help to keep everyone safe and ensure firefighters are available to respond to emergencies.