A SERIES of arson attacks following the arrival of lighter nights has prompted the fire service to issue advice about how people can help tackle the problem.
South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue (SYFR) said it had tackled several deliberate fires in the last few weeks.
A spokeswoman for SYFR said: “Deliberate fires cause millions of pounds worth of damage to property and even small deliberate fires such as grass, rubbish or bin fires have the potential to spread to properties and could put lives at risk.”
The authority said residents can help to reduce such incidents by:
- Making sure rubbish is stored securely and bringing in their bins after collection.
- Reporting large or abandoned rubbish to the council.
- Reporting people starting fires in your area to Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.
- Contacting the fire service if your child is known to be playing with matches. The fire service may be able to support your child through an established intervention programme
Simon Brookes, SYFR community safety manager, said: “We treat all acts of arson extremely seriously and work closely with South Yorkshire Police to identify those responsible and to prevent further instances occurring.
“These incidents can take up a large amount of time and resources when they could be needed at genuine life-threatening emergencies.”
Sgt Gillian Blake, of South Yorkshire Police, backed the fire service’s tips, adding: “While we always take reports of arson extremely seriously and take action wherever possible, these are steps which you can take to help safeguard yourself, your loved ones and your property.
“I would urge you to follow these simple steps.”
Sgt Blake added arson was a serious crime that could cost lives and destroyed homes, businesses and irreplaceable personal belongings.
“The impact on people’s lives is huge,” she said.