Locals reminded of summer fire safety

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Angus residents and businesses are being urged to stay safe from fire this summer, after an appeal from a senior Angus fire officer.

As Scotland begins to enjoy the sunshine, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service’s Group Manager for Angus, Billy McLintock is reminding the public that the change in the weather can bring with it a variety of fire hazards.

Group manager Billy McLintock said: “Scottish Fire and Rescue Service wants people to have an enjoyable summer, but one that’s memorable for the right reasons. Every year as temperatures rise, the sunshine brings with it an increase in the amount of both accidental and deliberate fires.

“Last year, there were 2557 deliberate fires in Scotland in July and August alone. Whilst that number was a reduction from the previous year, with 3300 deliberate fires, we need the public to take our message on board and do what they can to further reduce these types of fires.

“Every year as the school holidays begin we see an increase in the amount of deliberate fires set by children who do so for ‘fun’. We’re urging parents and carers to visit the Summer Safety page of our website at www.firescotland.gov.uk, to find out more about the risks and explain now to their children the tragic consequences these fires can have.”

Mr McLintock continued: “As we enter the summer period, SFRS will also see a rise in the amount of accidental fires (such as rubbish and refuse fires) or wildfires, which the service has responded to during the summer months in the Angus area. Again, there are simple steps that can be taken now to prevent these fires with information available at www.firescotland.gov.uk”

Tips from SFRS include:

Make sure you extinguish and dispose of any smoking materials properly - never throw a lit cigar or cigarette away in a rural environment as they have the potential to cause serious fires during the drier months.

Don’t leave glass or bottles out in the open - the sun’s rays, reflected through glass, has the potential to cause a wildfire or grassland fire.

Make sure recreational fires are made in a fire safe pit or container and they are properly extinguished before you leave.

If a fire occurs in the countryside, no matter how small, report it by calling 999 and asking for the fire service immediately as fire has the potential to turn into a wildfire very rapidly.

Many outdoor fires are started deliberately or are due to careless, reckless or irresponsible behaviour. If you suspect someone of acting in such a manner contact Police Scotland on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.