Following a recent large fire in Uckfield High Street, which destroyed four shops and threatened residential accommodation, Eastbourne’s Borough Commander Dave Sheppard is warning all local businesses to ensure that they manage their waste properly.
He said: “It is already clear that the fire in Uckfield will have a dramatic effect on the owners and employees of the businesses that have been destroyed, a consequence that we saw for ourselves in Eastbourne following a fire at The Crumbles a couple of years ago. What starts as a small fire in a pile of rubbish can quickly escalate to involve nearby buildings and property with devastating effect.
“Both the fire at The Crumbles and in Uckfield started in refuse that had accumulated and acted as a magnet which some in our community cannot resist. I would remind property owners and occupiers of the importance of storing their refuse in a safe manner, away from buildings and consider the use of lockable commercial bins to try and prevent these incidents occurring.
“In addition, to those that might be tempted to start fires in piles of rubbish and waste I would remind them that arson is a criminal offence which, on conviction, carries a significant custodial and financial penalty especially when it endangers people’s lives.”