Don't Start Fires Through Carelessness

Fires crews urging people to be careful after huge crop fire near Dartford

More than 40 firefighters spent yesterday afternoon (9th August) tackling a crop fire in New Road, Horton Kirby.

Recently Kent Fire and Rescue have seen an increase in call outs to fires in the county.

The warm weather has dried out vegetation, so grass verges, crop fields and woodland can easily catch light if people are careless with cigarettes or don't extinguish fires or barbecues properly.

Horton Kirby Crew Manager Kevin Porter said: “Recently, we have had a number of call outs to grass and crop fires in the area. As the conditions are very dry, these fires have the potential to spread very quickly, posing a threat to people, wildlife and buildings.

“We want to encourage people to take care and think about what they’re doing. For example, people should dispose of cigarettes safety, and drivers should refrain from discarding cigarettes through car windows while driving along as this, combined with dry grass verges, can easily start a fire.

He added: “At this time of year another problem is young people deliberately setting fires. This activity is destructive and dangerous and those who cause them are putting themselves, and others, at serious risk, as well as diverting valuable firefighting resources from other incidents.
 
“We would all parents to urge to warn children of the dangers of fire, as well as keeping matches and lighters out of their reach and we are also asking residents to be extra vigilant and to report any suspicious fire-setting activity to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”
 
By following these important safety tips people can help to prevent fires starting in the first place:

 

  • Don't discard cigarettes out of car windows as this can set light to grass verges and grassland areas and is illegal
  • Don't light fires in the countryside or drop litter which could be set fire to and again, littering is an offence.
  • Don't accumulate rubbish which can act as potential fuel for deliberate fire setters
  • Contact your local district or borough council to ask about disposal of unwanted furniture, or to report abandoned vehicles or fly tipped waste (Clean Kent 24 hour reporting line – 0845 345 0210)
  • Extinguish bonfires and barbecues properly
  • Keep matches and lighters out of the way of young people (especially young children) and remind them that they are not toys
  • If you are a parent you are strongly advised not to leave youngsters to wander in the countryside unsupervised. Ensure that they are aware of the dangers of fire
  • Report any information on fire setting activities and those responsible (anonymously if need be) to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
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