HOME owners are being reminded not to leave wheelie bins out for refuse collectors any longer than necessary, to prevent fires.
Last year in the week leading up to bonfire night, out of 43 incidents related to bonfires, 40 were either small rubbish fires or wheelie bins which had been set on fire and damaged by mindless vandals in the run up to bonfire night.
Chief Inspector Steve Readdie, from North Tyneside Area Command, said: “Wheelie bin fires are not only a nuisance but can lead to people being hurt and other property being damaged, including vehicles, fences or even properties.
“The Fire and Rescue Service also has to be called out to deal with them, which is a drain on their resources during this busy time of year, and the householder has to foot the bill for a replacement bin which costs £20. ”
Paul Tait from Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service said: “We can minimise the risk of this happening by reminding residents to only leave their bins out just before they are due to be emptied, and to collect them in promptly afterwards.
“Wheelie bins can be pushed up against property and if they are not stored back safely, they could be set alight, damaging property and endangering life.”
Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service is also urging young people not play with fireworks during the half term holidays and to attend organised fireworks displays and bonfires.
Group manager Dave Jefferson said: “Evidence shows that young people are the most likely to be injured in incidents involving fireworks and bonfires.
“We want to get the message across that fireworks and bonfires are very dangerous and can have devastating consequences.
Over the half-term week last year, Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service’s control room received 584 calls.
Firefighters were called out to 160 deliberate anti-social behaviour fires alone.
People are also being urged to report and illegal bonfires being built to North Tyneside Council, so they can be removed.
Anyone with any concerns about crime or disorder can call police on 03456 043043.