LUDLOW has seen a number of bin fires this year and fire chiefs are concerned about the dangers of arson.

In some cases what may appear to be a silly prank can put lives at risk.

Bins can be target of arson attacks.

Keep them at least six metres away from your home, say Shropshire fire officers.

Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service is appealing for the public’s help to join the fight against criminals who deliberately start fires in the county.

“Fire crime” can have devastating effects with sometimes serious consequences and added cost to the public purse, said Guy Williams, group manager in charge of prevention and protection for the county.

He is appealing to people to help prevent arson by putting bins out of sight and away from property, not leaving skips full of rubbish and reporting fly tips to councils.

“Arson is often a spur of the moment act done without the perpetrator thinking about the potential consequences to people’s lives and property,” added Guy Williams.

Incidents of arson have fallen dramatically from 1,216 in 2011/2012 to 427 in 2015/2016 due to education initiatives by firefighters and fire officers in schools such as the Be Cool Be Safe quiz and the acclaimed Crucial Crew education event for pupils.

Fire prevention officers also work with young offenders to make them see the often unintended consequences of their crimes.

Traditionally the number of county fires increases in April with more people out and about in the county due to warmer weather and school holidays.

“We also get a lot of grass fires caused by people carelessly discarding cigarettes or leaving barbecues in grassy areas where a spark can cause devastating fires spreading to acres of land,” Guy Williams said.

A total of 50 people died in UK fires started deliberately in 2014/15.