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Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service

Reducing and Preventing Arson.

Take a look at our advice below, which aims to help keep your property safe.

A shed in a vibrant garden. Image by Andy Watkins

Protect yourself outside your home: 

Neighbours

 

  • Try to promote good relations with neighbours, especially those who overlook your property.

  • Encourage them to contact the police if they see intruders, or observe anything suspicious involving your home, and do the same for them.

Garden and fencing

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

  • Any side entry gates should be secured unless in use, preventing intruders accessing the rear of your premises.

  • Avoid leaving bins or combustible items accessible, especially not placed against walls. These are a ready supply of fuel for an arsonist.

  • Do not leave flammable liquids in the open, and ensure such items are locked in a shed or outbuilding unless in use.

  • Sheds and garages should be well secured as they contain tools used to force entry into your home, as well as flammable liquids.

  • Intruder alarm / security lighting / CCTV

  • Consider providing the above to deter intruders and ensure they are maintained and fully operational at all appropriate times.

  • If using CCTV, make sure tapes are replaced regularly to ensure a high standard of picture quality. Remember, you may wish to provide video footage as evidence.

Close-up View of a door with a brass door knob and a beautiful Letter Box

Protect yourself inside your home: 

External doors

  • Fit good quality external doors.

  • Upgrade existing doors with good quality plywood if necessary.

  • Ensure gaps are kept to a minimum.

  • Five lever mortice locks are advised for external doors.

Letterboxes

A metal mailbox will contain most burning materials (including fireworks), pushed through the letter flap. If the flap is well fitted and maintained, it will close following the introduction of a burning item, thereby restricting oxygen supply. Intumescent letter flaps and mail containers are also available, offering the added advantage of containing accelerants introduced through the opening.

Home security

  • Maintain a rigid ‘lock-up’ whenever your home is vacated.

  • Close windows if no one is home, and consider window locks.

A person writing on paper with a pen

Insurance cover

Ensure you have adequate insurance cover for your home and contents.

Extinguish Programme

Extinguish is a fire awareness programme which helps educate young people - up to the age of 18 who are involved in setting deliberate fires. 

We work closely with other organisations such as Social Services, schools, Youth Justice and parents and carers. When someone has been identified as being at risk of setting fires we provide engaging fire safety education. We do this through games, videos, quizzes and 3D interactive videos. We look at how the young person is reacting and develop a suitable learning experience for them.

 

You can find out more about this programme here.