Fire service attends 1,750 wheelie bin fires across Tyne and Wear in two years

Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service has been called to 1,750 wheelie bin fires in the last two years. Credit: Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service

More than 1,700 wheelie bins have been set on fire across Tyne and Wear in the last two years.

A warning for people to bring in their bins has been issued by Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service after it revealed a quarter of the fires had happened in October and November.

The period around Bonfire Night is the service's busiest time of the year.

Earlier this month, youths were spotted trying to collect bins in Newbiggin Hall to add to rubbish fire they had started.

A crew from West Denton community fire station attended the incident on 16 October, when they were subjected to a "barrage of verbal abuse", a TWFRS spokesperson said.

Fires in numbers

Firefighters from the service were called to:

  • 1,750 wheelie bins on fire between October 2021 and September 2023.

These included:

  • 731 in Newcastle,

  • 515 in Sunderland,

  • 190 in Gateshead,

  • 192 in North Tyneside, and

  • 122 in South Tyneside.

Station manager Jonathan Ramanayake, from TWFRS’s prevention and education team, said: “We don’t set out to spoil the party for anyone as we love to see people having fun with their friends and family.

“But we do want to ensure that people are staying safe and steering clear of danger, where a fire could potentially occur or where someone’s life could be put at risk.

“Wheelie bins are present at every household across the region, and even one fire involving them is one too many. 

“We would always urge people to bring in their bins after they’ve been emptied and keep them in a safe place out of the reach of temptation.

“The people who are fire setting aren’t only jeopardising the lives of others but they could also be putting their own life at risk, as the bins are highly flammable and let off poisonous fumes that could prove fatal if inhaled.

“Also, if we are answering a call relating to a deliberate fire, then that is taking a crew away from dealing with a potentially life-saving incident. 

“If members of the public has any information to provide about the people causing the incidents in their local community then they can report the details anonymously through Firestoppers.”

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