Homes & Waste Management

Wheelie Bins: Lock it, Don’t Lose It!

We need to think of a wheelie bin as a container holding flammable fuel that can be a fire hazard. Ignition of a wheelie bin can be relatively easy from items discarded innocently, such as smoking materials or hot ash. However, a wheelie bin is a very real target for arsonists.

The video ‘It’s just a Bin…’ demonstrates how easy it is for a fire involving a wheelie bin can rapidly spread to your home, or a car on the driveway putting everyone inside your home at risk.

Lock It, Don’t Lose It!, means keep your bins secured to a fixed point until the morning they need to be collected. A simple bike lock, or chain and padlock is all you would need. Remember to position your wheelie bins away from exterior doors and windows.  

Photo of 4 security locks for wheelie bins

Lock It, Don’t Lose It! Means after collection day, bring your bin in and lock it up.

Waste Refuse and Rubbish:

Household refuse and general rubbish is another easy source of fuel for an arsonist, particularly as the materials may be recyclable.  Deliberate fires involving household waste and rubbish can develop quickly and spread to nearby fences, homes and other buildings placing lives at risk.

Graphic with text on: What can you do about Arson & fire setting? Be Fuel Management minded; think about:-What rubbish am i putting out? When am i putting it out? Can i reduce the size of my fuel? Will it fit in my bin securely? Is the location secure?

Managing our waste is easy and takes only a few minutes to avoid a fire, lets look at some simple Fuel Management Tips:
•    Make it Thin to Fit the Bin. Always flatten-out boxes so they have less surface area. Place the flattened boxes to make a stack of cardboard, then tape or tie the boxes together.
•    Never store flammable waste or rubbish, under stair wells, corridors, or close escape routes and fire exits. 
•    Always keep communal bin stores secure with a combination lock, so all residents can access it. Ensure the bin store is well lit.
•    Use lockable skips wherever you can, try to get them recovered at the end of the day if possible.

picture indicating the correct way to fill a bin with text: Always flatten-out boxes so they are flat. Place a the flattened boxes to make a stack of cardboard, then tape or tie the boxes together.

Safety is Security!

Keeping your property secure is easily the best method to prevent arson, we can all follow some simple tips to make our homes safer and more secure:

Tips for Arson Safety:
•    Keep entry points to your property secure, including sheds, garages and gates. Ensure that fencing and gates are well maintained, and any damage is repaired as soon as possible.
•    Simple security systems such as relatively cheap Wi-Fi based CCTV, alarms and security lighting can be installed as a deterrent.
•    Avoid having cardboard, bin bags, waste materials or unwanted furniture, to build up around your home. Both Durham and Darlington Councils operate a household bulk waste removal service.
•    Ensuring there is good visibility all around your home & areas are well-lit. Trim overgrown hedges & shrubs to increase visible security. 
•    Encourage your neighbours to join your local Neighbourhood Watch scheme. Exchange telephone numbers with them & always ring the police if you see anything suspicious.
•    Fit security locks & devices to windows & doors. 
•    Park vehicles in the garage if you can. If parking on your drive; reverse onto the drive with the front of the vehicle facing out into the street. 
•    Sheds & garages may contain tools that can be used to force entry to the home.  They may also contain flammable liquids.  Don’t leave flammable liquids unattended in the open.
•    Ensure you have working smoke alarms installed, (at the top & bottom of the stairs).
•    County Durham & Darlington FRS offer Home Fire Safety visits to County Durham & Darlington residents, offering fire safety advice & smoke alarms where necessary.
•    For more information on making your home secure, go to Durham Constabulary Crime Prevention website.