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Deliberate Fires

Join Scotland’s fight against fire

Setting a fire on purpose could put someone’s life at risk and impact on every community. Here you’ll find information about how you can prevent deliberate fires where you live and help to keep your community safe.

Deliberately set fires are dangerous; they waste time, money, and keep our crews away from real emergencies. Last year, Scottish firefighters attended around 20,000 deliberately set fires in bins, skips, fly tipped waste, derelict buildings, dry grass and heathland.

Every year we attend between 10,000 and 11,000 fires involving refuse and rubbish. 90% of these fires are due to deliberate fire-setting. The majority of these are due to reckless and irresponsible behaviour, often by children and young people.

The cost to the Service and our communities is staggering, with an estimated average cost of £2,000 for attendance at such incidents. As well as potentially delaying attendance at a more serious incident, fire setting can result in injury, property damage and environmental pollution. In the spring and summer months, deliberately set grass or heathland fires can quickly spread out of control, putting people and property at risk.

You can join Scotland’s fight against fire by:

  • Being aware of strangers loitering in your street – if they do so for some time, inform Police Scotland on the non-emergency number 101.
  • Contacting Police Scotland via the non-emergency number 101 to share information on anyone who deliberately sets fires. Alternatively, give the information anonymously by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
  • Reporting any build-up of rubbish to your local authority or community fire station. This will help ensure it can be removed and prevent fires.
  • Ensuring you are aware of where the children or young people you look after are – and what they’re doing.
  • Making sure that children and young people are aware of the risks of playing with fire and the consequences of deliberately setting a fire.
  • Reporting any fly-tipping directly to your local authority

Deliberate fire-setting is an offence and anyone with information regarding fire setters can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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