SFRS Warn About Deliberate Fire Setting

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) was called out to over two thousand fires which were deliberately started last autumn.Figures reveal last year’s total has increased from the previous autumn which could take firefighters away from genuine emergencies and even put lives at risk.

Assistant Chief Officer David McGown is the SFRS Director of Prevention and Protection and has warned of the dangers of deliberate fire setting.

Speaking ahead of this year’s autumn campaign Mr McGown warned that SFRS will work extremely closely with our colleagues 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.”

Crimestoppers can be called anonymously on 0800 555 111 or contacted through their website at www.crimestoppers-uk.org.

The latest figures show there were 207 deliberate primary fires such as house fires from 16 October to 9 November, 2015. This is a rise of 27 from 2014’s total.

The highest number was in Glasgow City which had 51 followed by Edinburgh City with 23 and 20 in Falkirk & West Lothian.

In comparison there were no such incidents reported in the Orkney Islands and two within the Highland area.

There were 1,318 deliberate secondary fires which involved outdoor areas such as fields, refuse, and countryside between 16 October – 9 November last year.

The majority were recorded in Glasgow with 242 and Edinburgh reporting 193.

Refuse fires had 788 overall – the highest in Glasgow at 159 followed by 104 in Edinburgh. This in contrast to five for the Highlands and 11 for Argyll & Bute, East & West Dunbartonshire.
Young people are also advised to visit www.fearless.org where they can anonymously report antisocial behaviour.

You can join Scotland’s fight against fire by any of these means:


  • Being aware of strangers loitering in your street – if they do so for some time, inform Police Scotland on the non-emergency number 101.
  • Contacting Police Scotland via the non-emergency number 101 to share information on anyone who deliberately sets fires. Alternatively, give the information anonymously by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
  • Reporting any build-up of rubbish to your local authority or community fire station. This will help ensure it can be removed and prevent fires.
  • Ensuring you are aware of where the children or young people you look after are – and what they’re doing.
  • Making sure that children and young people are aware of the risks of playing with fire and the consequences of deliberately setting a fire.
  • Reporting any fly-tipping directly to your local authority or to the National Dumb Dumpers Stop line on 0845 230 40 90.


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