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Preventing Deliberate Fires

Waste bins and skips can be a very popular target for arsonists. Don’t become another fire statistic and don’t let your property become a ‘soft target’ for malicious damage and arson. If there is known antisocial behaviour, fly tripping or deliberately set fires in your area it is important to report these to the police or relevant authority.

How can I help reduce the risk?

  • Do not allow rubbish to build up around premises and clean up regularly;
  • If possible, restrict access to where waste is stored – keep temptation out of sight;
  • Try not to overfill bins and keep them securely shut;
  • Store bins away from buildings, where possible, to prevent the spread of fire;
  • For communal bin stores, keep doors shut and follow the property management instructions;
  • For properties with communal areas, e.g. purpose built flats, keep these areas clear of rubbish and do not use this area to store anything – keep your exit clear;
  • Consider security lighting;
  • Skips should be located away from the property and collection should be arranged as soon as it has been filled;
  • Ensure any debris and litter is removed from under trees and shrubs, particularly during dry periods;
  • Fire can easily spread from trees to houses – try to keep trees pruned, especially near to houses, to reduce the risk.

For business premises, arson or deliberate fire setting is the single most common cause of fire and it continues to impose significant costs to the economy, with around 80% of businesses never fully recovering from a deliberate fire.

Under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, the owner or employer in every workplace has a legal responsibility for carrying out a fire risk assessment. This assessment includes identifying a potential arson risk and removing it.

Arsonists rarely bring combustible items with them but tend to use what is available on the site.

Review the safeguards advised to help reduce the risk of arson to your building by using our Arson Prevention Workplace Checklist.

Report it

If you have any information about arson in your area, have been threatened with arson or see someone deliberately starting a fire, call:

  • 999 in an emergency;
  • 101 for a non-emergency;
  • Or to report anonymously call Crimestoppers 0800 555 111.