WITH THE Easter holidays now in full swing, Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service (DFRS) are urging parents to be more vigilant about what their children may be up to when they are out and about.
Last year, DFRS saw a sudden rise in the number of deliberately started fires in and around parks and open spaces during the Easter half term holiday.
Community Safety Officers worked with school children and agencies such as the Police and Community Safety Teams to try and educate children and prevent fires from occurring and the initiative led to a decline on the previous year’s statistics, though DFRS were still called to a high number of deliberate fires.
In April last year there were 167 deliberately started fires, and in August there were 212, both months showing a peak in fires and a trend for deliberately started fires during school holidays.
This year, the fire service are urging parents and members of the community to be more vigilant about where their children are and what they may be up to. When your child returns home, can you smell smoke, or any form of accelerant on their clothing? Do you believe that they have been involved in deliberate fire setting? Anyone who does should call police.
If you have any concerns about your child playing with fire, DFRS offer a counselling service where trained advisors can visit your child to discuss the dangers of fire, educate them about fire safety and how to make safer choices.
For fire safety information visit www.derbys-fire.gov.uk.