Businesses and residents have been urged to check CCTV footage after a spate of potentially dangerous bin arsons.
Firefighters were called to around half a dozen wheelie bins on fire in the Scarborough Street area, in Hartlepool, between 8pm and 10pm on Wednesday, September 23.
Businesses in the street have received arson alert leaflets as part of a joint fire and police campaign against young people believed to be starting the blazes.
The flyer states: “Youths have been seen in the area lighting fires.
“We are instigating a police Crimestoppers campaign before someone is burned or killed in a fire.”
Cleveland Fire Brigade has also issued advice to residents and businesses to help prevent yobs from being able to set fires.
Steve Johnson, district manager for Hartlepool and Stockton, said: “Fires involving rubbish and bins can easily spread to homes and businesses so we urge residents and business owners throughout Cleveland to take simple precautions to deter arsonists and help keep them and their properties safe.”
Residents should put your wheelie bin or black bags out on the day of collection and then your bin should be brought back in as soon as possible; keep wheelie bin or black bags in a secure place; when throwing out old furniture or other household items call your council to arrange a collection and keep them in a secure area until the collection; when using a skip for building work or rubbish removal, try to fill it and remove it on the same day or ask for a skip with a lockable lid and position the skip at least six metres from buildings.
Businesses should use refuse containers at all times; do not leave black bags or other materials out as they attract arsonists; at the end of the working day bring containers inside; if containers are outside ensure they are secured six metres away from buildings and openings; refuse containers should not overflow.
Steve added: “If anyone has information on the individuals starting these fires please contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”