Fire crew outside store front

Fire Service using education to help reduce deliberate fires

Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service (NFRS) has seen a sharp rise in deliberate fires over recent months and are now urging youth groups and schools to talk about the dangers of fire setting.

The Service has been visiting schools across the South East Northumberland area with firefighters talking to all age groups - educating them on how deliberate fires prevent them attending real emergencies.

Stephen Kennedy, Group Manager for Emergency Response said: "Our crews are very proactive in raising awareness of fire setting.

“We are speaking to not only schools but businesses in the local area who will be displaying posters about the dangers and the consequences these fires have.

“They have a significant effect on the local economy, damage the environment and destroy property.”

The NFRS Community Safety Team has also been working with young people who have been identified as being at risk of setting fires.

Gail Keenan, Delivery Manager in Community Safety Department said: "The rise in deliberate fires is alarming, but through education we hope to reduce this.

Extinguish is our fire awareness programme which helps educate young people - up to the age of 18 - who have been identified as being involved in setting deliberate fires. We work closely with organisations such as social services, schools, youth justice, and parents and carers.

“As well as working directly with young fire-setters, we also provide engaging fire safety education in schools and community groups.

“We do this by delivering sessions, with the use of videos, quizzes, 3D interactive videos and games. Additionally, we speak in assemblies to address the seriousness of deliberate fire-setting.”

Fire crews and the Community Safety Team will be attending schools over the coming weeks to deliver fire-related safety messages and to highlight how anti-social behaviour has a knock-on effect on the service we are able to provide to keep our residents safe and well.

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