Sun­der­land tops re­gion for se­ri­ous fires

Sunderland Echo - - News -

Sun­der­land is blighted by the high­est num­ber of se­ri­ous fires in Tyne and Wear, new data re­veals.

Next week,Tyne and Wear Fire and Res­cue Ser­vice (TWFRS) chiefs will dis­cuss per­for­mance fig­ures for the first two quar­ters of 2018/19.

While the num­ber of Sun­der­land call­outs have re­duced by11per­cent(136)be­tweenJuly and Septem­ber – com­pared to the same pe­riod last year – se­ri­ous fires are cur­rently the high­est in the re­gion.

Govern­ment guid­ance de­fines pri­mary fires as those caus­ing harm to peo­ple or dam­age to prop­erty.

This in­cludes fires in non­derelict build­ings, ve­hi­cles, out­door struc­tures, any fire in­volv­ing deaths, ca­su­al­ties or res­cues or fires at­tended by more than five fire en­gines.

The lat­est data for 2018/19 states that the num­ber of pri­mary fires at­tended has risen from 263 to 282 on the pre­vi­ous year.

The fig­ure puts Sun­der­land above New­cas­tle (268) Gateshead (158) North Ty­ne­side (123) and South Ty­ne­side (106).

The num­ber of de­lib­er­ate pri­mary fires is also the high­est in the re­gion at 153 and more than triple the num­ber of fires in South Ty­ne­side.

Head of ser­vice de­liv­ery at TWFRS, Steve Bur­dis, said: “We have seen a rise in some pri­mary fires at­tended, for ex­am­ple, ve­hi­cle fires and de­lib­er­ate sec­ondary fires in some ar­eas of Sun­der­land.

“We’re work­ing closely with our part­ner agen­cies such as the po­lice and the lo­cal au­thor­ity to put mea­sures in place to try to re­duce th­ese in­ci­dents.

“For ex­am­ple, in the last month we have launched two ini­tia­tives, in the South­wick and Hen­don ar­eas re­spec­tively, work­ing with the po­lice, the lo­cal au­thor­i­ties and hous­ing group Gen­too.

“Dur­ing th­ese ini­tia­tives we­have­car­ried­outhome­safety checks, pro­vided ad­vice to res­i­dents on re­duc­ing the risk of fires both in and out of their homes; as well as speak­ing to busi­nesses on ar­son pre­ven­tion tips.

“Our pre­ven­tion and ed­u­ca­tion teams have been hold­ing and con­tinue to do spe­cial as­sem­blies to talk about the im­pact of anti-so­cial be­hav­iour within schools in the city in­clud­ing de­lib­er­ate fire set­ting and what the risks of do­ing this are.”

Other tips for the pub­lic in­clude re­port­ing fly-tip­ping to coun­cils, dis­card­ing of smok­ing ma­te­ri­als care­fully and stor­ing wheelie bins se­curely, es­pe­cially at night.

Any­one with fire con­cerns can also ar­range home safety checks with their com­mu­nity fire sta­tions.

The per­for­mance re­port – which will be dis­cussed by fire chiefs on Mon­day Novem­ber 12 – also lists statis­tics on fir­ere­lated in­juries and deaths in Tyne and Wear.

Be­tween July and Septem­ber three deaths were recorded – with one linked to North Ty­ne­side and two in Sun­der­land.

The meet­ing will start at the fire ser­vice’s Nis­san Way base at 10.30am and for more in­for­ma­tion: visit: www. twfire.gov.uk.

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