School holiday arson warning

FIRE bosses are urging people who live near schools across North Somerset to help them beat arson this summer. Avon Fire and Rescue Service

FIRE bosses are urging people who live near schools across North Somerset to help them beat arson this summer.Avon Fire and Rescue Service says during the holidays, empty school buildings are at increased risk of being targeted by fire bugs, many of whom will be bored children.Of the 1,000 or so fires that occur in the nation's schools each year, over half are started deliberately and two thirds occur outside of normal school hours. With the start of the summer holidays, the fire service is urging parents to help reduce the risk of their children suffering serious injury or death by highlighting the dangers of setting fires.In a bid to combat the arsonists, local schools have also been encouraged to complete arson vulnerability assessment packs provided by the service's arson task force.Any school that fire officers believe to be at high risk will be provided with help to reduce the likelihood of an arson attack. Arson Task Force manager Martin Glanvill said: "By taking a few simple steps such as making sure windows and doors are securely locked, perimeter fencing is well maintained with signs warning intruders, rubbish is removed as soon as possible, bins are locked in secure cages and regular checks of the premises are made, schools can dramatically reduce the risk of being targeted by arsonists."Parents also have a large part to play."Fires in schools have huge financial implications for the taxpayer and for children and their families it means a disrupted education."In a worse case scenario any fire could lead to the loss of life, something we are working hard to avoid at all costs."Anyone who witnesses suspicious activity near a school should contact the police immediately.Anyone with information regarding any fire started deliberately can contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.


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