During these unprecedented times, fire services across Wales are urging the public not to be tempted to burn garden or household waste.
What may have been intended to be just a small fire, or just a bit of fun, can quickly spread to become out of control.
Last year, there were nearly 4000 rubbish fires across Wales, with the main causes being household bin bags, fly tipped furniture and litter which are consequently being deliberately set alight.
It can all start with those extra bin bags, or that broken sofa left out the back, out of sight, out of mind…without thinking, you could be giving someone the opportunity to start a fire that could spread, risking damage to property, injury and even death.
Rubbish fires are extremely dangerous and can lead to a strain on resources, when there could be other emergencies where lives are in danger.
Fire smoke can also irritate airways, the skin and eyes, causing coughing, wheezing, breathlessness and chest pain. People with asthma and other respiratory diseases may become unwell because of fire smoke. These people are also at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19. Please don’t make things worse for them, the NHS, or the emergency services by starting a fire.
If you choose to dump rubbish you could be fueling the fire and choosing to contribute to a tragedy. Please take responsibility and ensure your waste is disposed of correctly.
Head Community Safety and Partnerships for South Wales Fire and Rescue Service Dean Loader said: ‘One or two bags of rubbish or a piece of furniture dumped can attract more – there is a cost to us all, a drain on emergency services resources, environmental damage, loss of wildlife and risk to property and life especially during this time of national crisis. I would like to remind residents that they do have a legal obligation to take all reasonable measures to ensure that their waste is disposed of properly. We recommend to always using registered waste carrier and to check for a permit, license or exemption.”
Waste Regulation Team Leader for Natural Resources Wales, Gareth Davies, said: “We all have a responsibility to make sure our waste is disposed of correctly, and through legitimate waste operators. Anyone offering waste disposal services must be registered with us – you can check if they’ve done this on our website. Most people would be horrified to find out their rubbish had been illegally fly-tipped. And they’d be equally as horrified to receive a fine if the waste could be traced back to them.”
Take Responsibility. Don’t fuel the fire.