Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service (MFRS) is asking for the help of the public to keep families, neighbours, communities, and firefighters safe during this bonfire period.
During the bonfire period in 2022 (19 October to 6 November), MFRS attended 175 deliberate fires across Merseyside, involving wheelie bins, bonfires, and rubbish. Crews also attended 22 firework incidents during the same period.
MFRS is asking local residents to take simple actions to help reduce the amount of these type of fires, known as ‘secondary’ fires. These actions include:
- Wheelie bins can be an easy target so please only put your bins out on the day of collection and bring it back in as soon as possible. Store it in a safe area, away from windows and doors if possible. Be a good neighbour and help bring in your neighbours’ bins too if you can
- Report any build-up of combustible material that could be used for deliberate fires via the MFRS website: https://www.merseyfire.gov.uk/safety-advice/community-safety/bonfire-safety/report-an-unlit-bonfire/
- Never give combustible materials to anyone, especially young people. Please have conversations with young people in your lives about the impact of deliberate fires on the community
MFRS Group Manager for Community Safety Franny Hill said, “We’re asking everyone in Merseyside to help us help them, by taking small actions to reduce the amount of deliberate fires our firefighters will attend during the Bonfire period this year.
“If our firefighters are responding to a wheelie bin fire or bonfire, it prevents them from responding to another, potentially-life threatening incident. Not only that, but secondary fires can spread quickly and put lives and nearby properties at risk.
“Please help us help you by having conversations with young people, your family and friends about understanding the impact of deliberate fires on our Fire Service and the wider Merseyside community.”
Unfortunately, as well as dealing with secondary fires, MFRS crews also see an increase in the number of attacks as they respond to incidents over the bonfire period. During the bonfire period in 2022, MFRS had five violence at work incidents.
GM Hill added, “In previous years, we have seen objects, including bricks and fireworks, thrown at fire engines as crews respond to bonfire-related incidents.
“If a fire engine is damaged, it will have to be taken out of service, meaning it cannot respond to other, potentially life-threatening incidents. Just remember, it could be your loved ones who need that fire engine.”
“An attack on fire crews is an attack on your own community. All fire engines carry CCTV cameras and footage will be passed on to Merseyside Police. This is not an acceptable way to treat your emergency services and this will not be tolerated.”
If you have any information about people involved in this type of anti-social behaviour which, every year, causes serious injury or damage, then please report it.
Always contact 999 in an emergency. Alternatively, you can DM @MerPolCC, call 101 or @CrimestoppersUK