Arson prevention

Deliberate fire-setting is an offence. Please report it

Deliberate fires take up a large amount of our firefighters’ time. Our fire crews could be putting out these avoidable fires when they should be helping someone whose life may be in danger at a house fire or road traffic collision.

Many fires, including refuse fires wheelie bin fires and grass fires are started deliberately. It’s important to report irresponsible behaviour so that fires can be prevented in your community.

If you see any suspicious activity in your area please contact Cheshire Police on their non emergency number 101 (or dial 999 if appropriate) or call crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Arson statistics

  • Over the past five years more than half the fires in Cheshire were started deliberately.

  • Firefighters find that loose rubbish, wheelie bins, grass and small bins are usually where fires are set.

  • Houses are the most common types of building to be deliberately set on fire.

  • Deliberate fire incidents have taken up 900 hours of staff time already this year.

  • Fire engines have spent an average 48 minutes dealing with each one of this year’s deliberate fire incidents.

  • Help protect yourself, friends, family and others from the threat of arson by reading the information below.

Protect your property from arson

  • The best defence against arson is effective security.

  • Entry gates should be secured, unless in use, to prevent access by intruders.

  • Ensure any damage to fencing is repaired promptly to deter intruders.

  • Fit good quality external doors.

  • Close windows when not at home.

  • Consider security systems such as intruder alarms/security lighting to deter intruders.

  • Sheds and garages should be well secured as they often contain tools that can be used to force entry in to the home.  They also often contain flammable liquids.  Don’t leave flammable liquids in the open.

  • Look after your wheelie bin.  If possible place out on the morning of collection and return to your property as soon as possible after collection. More wheelie bin safety tips

  • Avoid placing bins, rubbish, or other combustible items against the walls of the home.  These are a ready supply of fuel for the arsonist.

  • Burning materials (including fireworks) can be pushed through letterboxes.  A metal container or lockable flap can be fitted.

  • Further advice on home security can be obtained from the Local Police Crime Prevention Officer.

Reporting arson involving vehicles / cars

If you see any suspicious activity involving vehicles/cars in your area please contact Cheshire Police on their non emergency number 101 (or dial 999 if appropriate) or call crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. 

Protect businesses from arson

Protect schools from schools

Arson can be a major problem for schools.

Help us to reduce the number of schools hit by arson over the school holidays by reporting any suspicious activity on school grounds during the holidays. For example, please report trespassers in school grounds, of whatever nature, so that we can prevent incidents.

If you see any suspicious activity on school grounds immediately contact Cheshire Police on their non emergency number 0845 458 0000 (or dial 999 if appropriate) or call crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 at any time during the school holidays.

Safety advice for schools - how to prevent arson in your school (opens in new window)

Protect the countryside from arson

Grass fires can get out of hand very quickly, cause extensive damage and put lives at risk. 

Please take care when in the countryside and alert the Fire Service to fires as early as possible via 999 calls. An early call could mean the difference between a small, easily controllable fire and a widespread, devastating fire.

Tips on how to reduce the number of fires in the countryside

More information about arson - Arson Prevention Forum

To help to stop arson in the UK, there is an Arson Prevention Forum.  Visit the Arson Prevention Forum website for more information:

The Arson Prevention Forum (new window)

Carry out your own home safety check

Complete our online home safety check and you will get a personalised fire safety plan, which will offer advice on how to prevent fires in your home.

Do the online home safety check

Book a home safety check

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service will fit free smoke alarms for people who are aged over 65 and for people who are referred to us by partner agencies because they are considered to be at a particular risk.

If you are over 65 years of age and you live in Cheshire, you can arrange for a Firefighter or a Community Safety Advocate to visit your home for a free home safety visit. During the home safety visit advice will be given on how to make your home safer, what to do in the event of a fire and what to do if you are trapped by a fire. Free smoke alarms will also be fitted (if needed) with an explanation on how to maintain them correctly.

Book a home safety visit for over 65’s

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