Pupils ‘burning books’ to celebrate leaving school among reasons behind summer spike in firefighter call outs in Hartlepool

Endeavour House, headquarters of Cleveland Fire Brigade.
Endeavour House, headquarters of Cleveland Fire Brigade.

Firefighters are to looking to go into schools to speak to children after a rise in incidents over the summer caused by ‘the burning of school books’.

Hartlepool Borough Council’s North and Coastal Community Forum were given an update on the number of incidents which firefighters were called to over the past three months at its latest meeting.

Community liaison officer at Cleveland Fire Brigade Darren Lane highlighted the number of F3 category fires they were called to – which includes grass fires, rubbish fires and bin fires.

He said they were called out to 192 incidents throughout the whole of Hartlepool, with 121 of them in the North and Coastal area.

This meant a rise in the number of incidents throughout the period of June, July and August from previous months, and children burning school books was attributed as a factor, along with the warm weather and World Cup.

Mr Lane said: “The number peaked in June, this was likely down to a number of reasons.

“There was the hot weather, the World Cup, as well as kids burning school books when they were leaving school.

“Often we’ll get called to the first fire and along the road they will have moved on to the next fire.

“Next year we are going to try and talk to kids before they finish school about the danger and consequences their actions could have.”

Seaton was highlighted by Mr Lane as a hotspot for the incidents with a totalo of 40 category F3 fires occuring in the area.

Councillors also raised concerns at the meeting of fires by the dunes at Seaton and Mr Lane said this was one area where they had received a number of calls.

Meanwhile there was 35 incidents occurring in the De Bruce area of Hartlepool over the past three months.

The fire service will now be turning towards bonfire night and spreading safety messages across the town.

Mr Lane said: “It’s a really, really busy time and we are already working up to it.

“We try and encourage people to go to organised events and take note of any guidance that is there.

“It’s all a case of being safe and not sorry.”