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Scottish Fire and Rescue Service issues outdoor fire safety alert

Written by Scott Campbell.
 
 
 
 
 
Published at 19:22 GMT on Tuesday, July 16th, 2013.

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Picture: Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.

AS THE temperature looks set to rise, and the sun looks set to make a welcome return to Cumbernauld, this week, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service is urging locals to recognise the extremely high risk of outdoor fires this weekend.

Over the past week there has been a substantial increase in the number of outdoor fires along with a rise in deliberate fires within inner-city and semi-rural areas, according to the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS).

A spokesperson for the service said: “During extended periods of warm weather areas of grass, heather and heathland are particularly vulnerable to fire.

“With the ground in some areas being tinder dry even small outdoor fires can quickly get out of control and put properties, wildlife, the public and their firefighters at risk.

“Ensuring the safety of our communities is the main priority for the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and by working with the public we can reduce the risk and help prevent a tragedy striking.

“People are not always aware of how easily a small fire can escalate into an incident threatening life and property, with avoidable and deliberate fires placing demands on firefighters and resources that may be needed if an emergency arises elsewhere.

“The public’s help is vital if we are to reduce the number of outdoor fires and the risks they pose to life and property in our communities.”

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Misuse and vandalism of fire hydrants – needed to ensure firefighters have enough water to battle a blaze – has also gone up over recent days, with firefighters keen to raise awareness of the effect this could have if a fire breaks out.

The spokesperson added: “Setting off a fire hydrant has potentially devastating consequences. Firefighters need water to fight fires and hydrants are essential resources for crews responding to a call for help.”

Any person known or suspected of being involved in deliberate firesetting or hydrant abuse should be reported to Police Scotland on the non-emergency number 101. Alternatively, information can be given in confidence via Crimestoppers by calling 0800 555 111.

Further information and advice about fire safety is available online at www.firescotland.gov.uk.

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