Posted: Friday 4th August 2017
Hertfordshire County Council’s Fire and Rescue Service always sees a particular increase in arson attacks over the summer months, so we’re advising residents to help prevent these attacks by keeping their eye out for signs of potential risks.
Many fires can be started by children who may be curious about fire, so we’re asking parents to be vigilant during the summer holidays.
Deputy Chief Fire Officer, Chris Bigland, said: "School holidays can be a prime time for fire setting behaviour and we would ask parents and carers to look out for the key signs and call us if they have any concerns.
“Arson or playing with fire is extremely dangerous. It puts lives and property at risk. While our crews are dealing with such incidents they are diverted away from other important work. We ask all residents to be vigilant, and report any behaviour they are concerned about.”
“Hertfordshire’s Fire and Rescue service have schemes to help divert people away from experimental and antisocial behaviour such as Fire Setters, which helps young people to explore why they set fires to prevent the behaviour becoming destructive.”
Helping the county’s children to overcome their curiosity about fire can be a challenge, but Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service’s Fire Setters works predominantly with children who have an unhealthy fascination with fire, and their work also extends to youngsters who regularly make hoax calls or have an extreme fear of fire.
The team uses a selection of methods to educate the children about the dangers of fire including discussions, worksheets, DVDs and books.
What are the signs that your child may be playing with fire?
• Small burn holes in carpets or charred paper in sinks or waste bins.
• Matches or lighters hidden in your child’s clothing or bedroom.
• Unexplained fires in your home, garden, or in and around the homes of his / her friends, or even at their school or places of recreation.
If a parent or guardian has concerns over their child’s behaviour they can call 01707 292310 to make an appointment with a Fire Setter advisor.
Residents are advised to phone 101 to report any suspicious behaviour. If you see arson in progress, please phone 999.