FIREFIGHTERS are urging householders and businesses to be extra vigilant where they store their rubbish after being called to a series of bin blazes.
Crews from Stranton Fire Station, in Hartlepool, were called to two bin fires, believed to have been started deliberately, in Owton Manor on Monday night.
One was a domestic bin and another from a commercial premises behind St Patrick’s shops in Owton Manor Lane.
The brigade was called out twice to the same area within 40 minutes between 8pm and 9pm.
The fire service says they are the latest in a series of similar incidents in the area in the last couple of weeks.
It is asking people to take extra care where and when they put their bins out to prevent them being a target to trouble makers.
A brigade spokesman said: “We have had quite an increase in incidents over the last few weeks.
“We are trying to make people aware of wheelie bin safety. Only put bins out on the morning of collection and try and secure them safely.
“Commercial premises should also restrict access to bins by keeping alley gates locked.”
A 12-month pilot project between Hartlepool Borough Council and Cleveland Fire Service launched last week to tackle problems around wheelie bins.
It is focussing on streets off Hart Lane and Grange Road and aims to raise awareness and enforcement.