Residents warned to be vigilant after a spate of wheelie bin fires in Widnes (From Runcorn and Widnes World)
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Residents urged to be vigilant after a rise in wheelie bin fires in Widnes
AN alarming rise in arson attacks has prompted fire chiefs to warn residents to be extra vigilant.
Firefighters have tackled 25 deliberate wheelie bin fires in Widnes since September 1, almost double the number compared with this time last year.
The majority of the incidents have occurred in the Kingsway and Hough Green areas.
Colin Heyes, Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service's Arson Reduction Manager said: "We urge people to be on their guard and report anyone they see lighting fires. This sort of crime is extremely dangerous and any fire puts the lives of the public and firefighters at considerable risk.
"It also takes up a lot of valuable time and resources.”
Bin fires take hold so rapidly, crews fear they could easily spread to homes, putting lives at risk.
The latest two incidents were in Afton and Stewards Avenue at around 8pm on Monday, October 28.
Firefighters extinguished the burning bins with hose reel jets.
Crews have also been called to deliberate bin fires in Milton Avenue, Hale Road and Arley Drive.
Widnes firefighters are asking people to follow these simple tips to prevent wheelie bin fires:
• Do not store rubbish or wheelie bins/refuse containers by windows or doors - any fire in the bin could easily spread to your property.
• Do not store your wheelie bin/refuse containers in close proximity to a building.
• Do not overfill your wheelie bin/refuse containers or leave loose rubbish around them.
• Whenever possible, wheelie bins/refuse containers should be stored securely behind locked gates.
• Only place your wheelie bin out on collection day. Return it to your property as soon as possible after collection. Do not leave your wheelie bin out at night.
• Do not allow bins or rubbish to block escape routes
Anyone with information about wheelie bin fires can call Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111 or Cheshire Police on 101.
For further information about fire safety please visit www.cheshirefire.gov.uk
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