Rubbish & Refuse Fires

There are approximately 22,000 outdoor fires each year in Scotland which require our emergency attendance and approximately 50% of all these outdoor fires involve refuse, rubbish and fly-tipped materials.

With an estimated average cost of £2,000 for each attendance at such incidents, the estimated annual cost to the Service is a staggering £22m.

You can help prevent rubbish fires by following our advise:

  • Store your rubbish in a secure area if possible.
  • Keep your garage and shed locked as well as your home.
  • Keep all flammable liquids locked away.
  • Consider installing security lighting outside.
  • Be alert to strangers loitering in your street and call the police if strangers are loitering for some time.
  • Report any build-up of rubbish to your Local Authority or community fire station. This will help ensure it can be removed and prevent fires.
  • Report any fly-tipping direct to your Local Authority or to the National Dumb Dumpers Stop line on 0845 230 40 90.
  • Warn other people if a fire breaks out. Then get out, stay out and call the fire and rescue service out by ringing 999.

Remember not to:

  • Allow rubbish to block escape routes.
  • Store rubbish by doors, windows or any other openings.
  • Store bins or sacks up against your home as fire can quickly spread to buildings.
  • Overfill your bin or leave rubbish around it.
  • Smoke in or around storage areas.
  • Put bins out for emptying until the day your refuse is collected.
  • Fly-tip materials or leave rubbish to build up outdoors – it could start a fire.
  • Accept deliberately fire-setting in your community. It’s a crime that threatens lives – report it to the police.
Please be careful and considerate when disposing of your refuse and recycling.

If a crime is being committed, or is about to be committed, or if there is a risk of serious injury, or if the fire and rescue service is needed, call 999.

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