Last year there were over 8,000 fires in London caused by rubbish. They start easily, and a large number of them are started deliberately. Dumped furniture, car tyres, scraps of wood, old mattresses, cardboard boxes - they don’t just look bad but are a potential fire hazard and a target for arsonists too.
We’ve reduced the number of rubbish fires over the years and are determined to keep it that way. We work hard to spot fire hazards on the street and get them removed. We work with schools to educate young people about the dangers of fire. We work with councils and private land owners to help them keep property and open land safe.
And we are launching our ‘Fires are rubbish’ campaign later this year. Working in partnership with Keep Britain Tidy, we are encouraging people to be responsible with their rubbish and to take action if they see some lying around. And we’ll be making it easier for people to report any rubbish they see by sharing information about the services councils already provide and later this year we’ll be promoting a new pan London reporting system, that can also be used to report rubbish.
Most of these fires can be avoided by clearing up rubbish, making all of us safer, not to mention making the places where we live look nicer too.
If you have furniture or large amounts of rubbish, don’t dump it on the street. Think about what a dangerous fire risk you are leaving for someone to get hurt or the damage it might cause. All of London’s 32 Councils and the City of London offer help and advice about how to clear-up rubbish so there’s no need to just dump it.
And if you spot rubbish that could be a potential fire risk contact your local council, and we’ll be promoting a new pan London reporting system later this year. Keep checking back for further updates.
Top tips to reduce your risk of rubbish fires
Keep Britain Tidy work to achieve cleaner, greener places for everyone. They run a number of national campaigns to help improve the local environment, including campaigning against fly-tipping.
The Capital Clean-up is a partnership campaign led by the Mayor of London to clean-up London. It runs from 10 June to 24 July 2011 and people can either join-in organised cleaning events or have their own.
If you see someone deliberately starting a fire call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
If you think your child, or a child you know, is displaying firesetting tendencies or behaviour, you can contact the Juvenile Firesetters Intervention Scheme at email@example.com.