Stop bin fires

Shropshire firefighters re-create a wheelie bin fire to show schoolchildren just how quickly fire spreads

The public has been urged to take action to stop their household bin from going up in flames and putting their home at risk from fire in an important safety message from Shropshire firefighters.

A short film clip re-enacting the dangers posed from a blazing bin deliberately set on fire and positioned in the porch of a house has been produced by Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service.

It will be shown in schools across the county to educate pupils about the danger with the information expected to spread to parents, friends and families, said John Das Gupta, the brigade’s Head of Fire Prevention.

There have been 290 reported bin fires since April 2009 with 14 causing a real threat to nearby homes and businesses.

“Our Community Fire Safety department identified that bin fires are a problem and took the video footage themselves to graphically show just how quickly a wheelie bin sets on fire when it is deliberately set alight.

“This is a problem we repeatedly get called out to deal with and one which can pose a significant risk as fire spreads rapidly, and if the bin is located close to their property, they could potentially be trapped inside their house. Wheelie bins are an available source of flammable materials which arsonists take advantage of. Don’t give them the opportunity.”

Residents are urged, if possible, to site their wheelie bin away from property and only put it out in the street just before the arrival of the bin collectors.

Last year a wheelie bin was deliberately placed next to a gas pipe before being set on fire on a Telford housing estate. The blaze cracked the pipe before leaking gas led to a “potentially lethal” blaze.

In another incident firefighters prevented a number of businesses from going up in flames after arsonists set fire to rubbish in the yard of a Telford business which was quickly spreading to neighbouring properties.

Both incidents were just two real life examples of how rubbish fires were “extremely dangerous,” said Derek Taylor, the brigade’s fire crime investigation officer.

26th January, 2011