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Deliberate Fire Setting

Fires set deliberately have a significant effect on the local economy, damage the environment, destroy property, and can, in the worst cases, take someone's life.

Even small fires can spread very quickly, and often much quicker than expected. 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. Deliberate fires can also result in an injury to the person setting the fire, or others who may become trapped by a rapidly developing fire. People have also been killed as a result of deliberate fire setting.

Each year Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service attends around 2,000 deliberate fires. These range from fires in bins, skips, fly-tipped waste, grasslands and fields, barns, and haystacks, to properties and buildings. These cost the fire service and local organisations and businesses money; however, the true cost could potentially be even more significant. If fire service resources are tied up at this type of fire, it may mean a delay in attending a more serious incident such as a house fire, or a road traffic collision in which someone is trapped, again meaning that someone's life is endangered.

How would you feel if the small bin fire you set to impress your friends meant the delay in the attendance of a fire engine to your home where a family member was trapped?

The following information gives advice on how you can help prevent deliberate fires to help keep you, your family, and your community safe.

  • Report any suspicious activity to CRIMESTOPPERS on 0800 55 111, or by calling the Police 101 number
  • Report any build-up of rubbish, or fly-tipping, to your local authority's Environmental Health department
  • Do not store flammable items, such as recycling waste close to your property or business
  • Have skips collected once full
  • Wherever possible keep your bin in a safe, secure place, and don't leave your bin out for collection longer than is necessary
  • Ensure commercial bins are secured when not in use and stored away from buildings. Lock them, where possible, overnight
  • Do not leave lighters, or matches, where children could reach them
  • Ensure you are aware of where your children, or the young people you look after, are and what they are doing
  • Make sure that your children are aware of the risks of playing with fire and the consequences of deliberately setting a fire. This could include injuring or killing themselves or someone else, and/or being left with a criminal record


Deliberate fires often spike around the time of school holidays, particularly the long summer break. Deliberate fires are often set by children and young people. This is why we work with schools and community groups across the county to provide education on the dangers and consequences of deliberate fire setting.

Deliberate Firesetting

Examples of which may include:

  • An unusual fascination with fire
  • Boredom
  • Unexplained fires within the home
  • Burn holes in carpets beds or furniture

Fire Setter Intervention Scheme

The service has a dedicated team of advisors that works with people who either have a history of deliberately setting fires, or are starting to show a fascination with fire. If you have any concerns you can contact one of our team in confidence by emailing for further information or to make a referral. You can also make a referral using the form below.

Young persons details
Referral by Parent/Guardian
Details of referral origin if referral by other than Parent/Guardian
Further information
Reason for Referral / Additional Information or Concerns
Data protection