Keep your bins wheelie safe from fire

In the run up to Halloween and Bonfire Night, Warwickshire County Council’s Fire and Rescue Service would like to encourage residents and businesses to store all rubbish containers and wheelie bins away to avoid them becoming a target for vandals.

For most people it’s the time of year for celebrations and having fun. However, with the darker nights, spooky goings on and fireworks being available, it can provide opportunities for anti-social behaviour with rubbish containers and wheelie bins being an easy target.

Rubbish containers and wheelie bin fires can prove to be devastating. Not only can they cause damage to homes and business, but and can also result in casualties or even worse, fatalities.

Last year in October and November Warwickshire had 44 fires involving rubbish containers and wheelie bins. This year we would like to reduce this number. You can help us by following these fire safety tips.

  • Put your bins out early the morning of collection, rather than late at night.
  • Take your bins from the kerbside as soon as possible after collection.
  • Help out your neighbour – bring their bin in for them if needed.
  • Never store your containers or wheelie bins close to your windows or doors. If the bin catches fire, it can easily spread to your home, or office.
  • Ensure the bins are not overfilled with refuse and garbage, as any loose rubbish is inflammable and can easily catch fire and set the bin on fire, too.
  • As far as possible, store your bins behind locked gates to prevent strangers from getting access to them.
  • Store your bins in such a manner so that they don’t block escape routes and access.
  • Please use your local borough/district council’s bulky collection service to remove large items such as unwanted sofas and furniture. You can find more information on the website: www.warwickshire.gov.uk/bulkywaste

WFRS Anti-Social Behaviour Intervention Team will also be out on extra visits during the holiday period talking to residents and giving fire safety advice.

Talking about the prevention work they will be doing throughout the Halloween and Bonfire night period, Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Services, Arson Prevention Officer Rebecca Roberts said:

“As we approach Halloween and Bonfire Night, we look forward to a family time, full of fun and fireworks.

However, we also know that this is the time of year when some people take the opportunity to ruin the fun for everyone else. So we are asking residents to be on their guard and report anyone they see lighting fires in public places, or in wheelie bins. This sort of crime is extremely dangerous and any fire puts the lives of the public and firefighters at considerable risk.

“Incidents can be reported to calling Crimestoppers, which can be done anonymously, on 0800 555 111 or Warwickshire Police on 101.”

Portfolio Holder for Community Safety, Councillor John Horner said: “Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service works very closely with the police and other partner agencies to tackle anti-social behaviour and arson, but we also need residents to be aware and help us where they can by storing their bins in a safe place before the celebrations begin.”

Warwickshire County Councillor Philip Johnson, Chair of the council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee added: “Arson is a crime and we will do everything we can to stop people following the wrong path and endangering not only their lives, but the lives of Warwickshire residents. In the last few years, the ASBIT team has made a real impact on reducing arson and I hope that continues.”