Deliberate fire-setting in Ayrshire has reduced by more than half in the period leading up to Bonfire Night.  

Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) figures show that since 2018, the number of deliberate fires across Scotland in the three weeks prior to 5 November has fallen from 1,302 to 907 – a reduction of 35 per cent.

In Ayrshire alone, a 53 per cent drop has been recorded, one of the biggest declines across the country.

At its peak, 151 fires were recorded in the lead up to Bonfire Night in 2020, compared to 66 last year.

The SFRS says these incidents are largely made up of outdoor incidents impacting refuse and woodland but also involved hundreds of building and vehicle fires. 

Deputy Assistant Chief Officer Iain Macleod, SFRS' head of prevention and protection, has welcomed the reduction as a clear impact of sustained prevention efforts such as school visits. 

He said: “Every year at this time of year our crews are mobilised to deal with deliberately set bonfires and to help people injured by the careless use of fireworks – particularly children and young people.  

“But we always want to prevent fires, accidents or injuries from occurring in the first place. 

“In the build-up to the Bonfire Night period, we work tirelessly to engage directly with schools and community groups to educate our young people on the dangers of deliberate fire-setting, bonfires and fireworks.  

“Clearly we welcome any fall in this type of activity as this reduces the risk to the wider community and the impact this type of behaviour can have on our firefighters.” 

Last year, SFRS visited more than 600 schools across the country and reached more than 8,000 young people between the age of 10 and 14 – and this year is no different.  

Young people are given advice about how to prevent injuries and what to do in the event of an emergency, as well as useful information about the laws around using fireworks in Scotland. 

DACO Macleod has also reminded people of the risks of hosting events at home.

He said: “We want people to enjoy themselves however this must be done safely and responsibly. 

“Our message is clear – leave fireworks to the professionals and attend an organised event where possible. 

"If anyone is thinking about hosting a private event involving flame or fireworks, please ensure you are aware of the laws around the use of fireworks and always follow the Fireworks Code to keep everyone safe.”