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North Kent fires double in a year - and 60 per cent are deliberate

PUBLISHED: 09:22 04 August 2015 | UPDATED: 09:22 04 August 2015

Fire engines were  called to the scene

Fire engines were called to the scene

Archant

Crews are offering safety advice

The number of spring and summer fires in north Kent has more than doubled in a year – and more than half of them are deliberate.

There were 196 fires in the Thames Gateway area between April and July this year, compared with 93 in the same period last year – and 60 per cent of them were started on purpose.

In a bid to combat the problem, firefighters will be offering advice on summer fire safety at a Gravesend supermarket this week.

Crews will be at Asda in Thames Way, Northfleet, handing out leaflets and talking about barbecues, garden fires and other potential dangers on Friday from 10.30am.

Crew manager Dave Aylwin said: “Any blaze can lead to tragedy. Our aim is to prevent fires from happening.

“There are some important safety messages we are hoping people will take home from their shopping trip – don’t start a fire while drinking alcohol, be aware of the risks and avoid letting your fire get out of control.”

You should also never leave rubbish in the countryside, especially cigarettes and glass, which can start a fire if sunlight shines on it.

Crews will also be receiving a £200 cheque after Asda staff and customers chose the Firefighters’ Charity to be part of their green token community scheme.

The charity supports serving and retired firefighters, fire service personnel and their families when they are in need.

“We’re really grateful to Asda and its customers for their support,” Mr Aylwin added.

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