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Spate of wheelie-bin fires

Spate of wheelie-bin fires

Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service has been called to an unexpectedly high number of refuse and rubbish fires, especially involving wheelie bins, over the last two weeks.

Fires in wheelie bins are of special concern as the burning plastic releases toxic fumes which can cause health problems.

There are a number of ways in which you can stop your wheelie bin from being a target for arsonists:

  • store all wheelie bins away, especially at night, to avoid them becoming a target for arsonists
  • store rubbish away from any building, while keeping it within the boundaries of your property
  • only place your wheelie bin out on collection day and return it to your property as soon as possible after collection
  • whenever possible, store wheelie bins securely behind locked gates to prevent strangers from getting access to them
  • keep your wheelie bins out of public view, whenever possible
  • don't overfill your wheelie bins or leave loose rubbish around them
  • store your wheelie bins so that they don't block escape routes and access

If you come across a burning wheelie bin, you should:

  • call 999. Early response can prevent it from developing into a large incident
  • don't attempt to tackle fires that can't be put out with a bucket of water – leave the area as quickly as possible

Group Commander Mick Cadman said: "Arson is an extremely serious crime and we are constantly working to reduce the risk to members of the public.

"The recent dry and unseasonally warm weather provides the perfect conditions for these fires, but this week's wildfire on Saddleworth Moor is a shocking reminder of how a small outdoor fire can develop quickly into a large emergency situation – even in winter months."

Any suspicious activity should be reported by calling 101 or, if an emergency, 999.

Further fire safety advice can be found at www.hwfire.org.uk

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