Fire chiefs offer warning over dangers of deliberate fires

FIRE chiefs have warned of the dangers of deliberate fires as new figures revealed that crews dealt with more than 2,000 such incidents last autumn.

Ocotber and November are a popular time for bonfires. Picture: TSPL

There were 207 deliberate primary fires such as house fires from October 16 to November 9 2015, a rise of 27 from 2014, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) said.

Over the same period there were 1,318 deliberate secondary fires which involved outdoor areas such as fields, refuse and countryside.

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The SFRS warned that dealing with deliberate fires could take crews away from genuine emergencies and put lives at risk.

Assistant Chief Officer David McGown, SFRS Director of Prevention and Protection, said that the organisation will work extremely closely with Police Scotland and Crimestoppers to identify those responsible for setting deliberate fires.

He said: “Deliberate fires present a danger to life, property and the environment.

“The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service will work extremely closely with our colleagues in Police Scotland to identify anyone involved in deliberate fire setting.

“While attending these, fire crews could be taken away from genuine emergencies where lives are at risk.

“An emergency is very time-critical and deliberate fires have a potential to delay us.

“We want to stop fires before they start and I hope the public will join our fight against fire by reporting any fire-related anti-social behaviour.

“I appeal to the public in particular within affected neighbourhoods and young people to call or contact Crimestoppers. Together we can work together and make this autumn safe.”