Firefighters urging Staffordshire children not to play with fire

Glynn Luznyj Director of Prevent and Protect at Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service has relaunched its Flames Aren’t Games Campaign for the Easter holidays.

Firefighters are hoping that the county will not see a repeat of last year’s high number of deliberate fires.

In 2018 the Service tackled several extremely large fires out in the open which were caused deliberately or carelessly and had devastating affects on the environment, but more importantly endangered people’s lives and homes.

Last year crews attended 1,475 grass and rubbish fires in July and August alone and 75 per cent of these were believed to have been started deliberately.

With the weather getting warmer the Service is hoping that by sharing the Flames Aren’t Games message young people will not be tempted to start fires while they are off school and out enjoying the potential sunshine.

Director of Prevent and Protect Glynn Luznyj said: “Last year we dealt with several large scale fires out in the open. We always see an increase in deliberate fires during the school holidays, particularly when we have nice weather.

"We really do not want a repeat of last year where we were extinguishing one grass fire only to be called straight to another.

“These deliberate fires waste valuable time and resources that could be better used elsewhere, helping those in trouble or carrying out preventative work in the community.

“The conditions last year were extremely difficult and it was really disappointing for firefighters to work so hard keeping people safe and preventing fires spreading to homes, to then see more young people starting more fires.

“Please teach your children the dangers of starting fires deliberately, show them our video and make sure they understand that not only could they hurt themselves or others they could end up with a hefty fine or even serving jail time.

"This is no game and last year we were very thankful that we managed to stop these deliberate fires from destroying more livelihoods and the environment.”

Anyone caught setting a fire deliberately could face a £5,000 fine or a prison term. For more information on the Flames Aren’t Games Campaign visit https://www.staffordshirefire.gov.uk/your-safety/campaigns/flames-arent-games/

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