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Don’t get burned by firebugs this summer, police urge

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The Winnipeg Police Service is hoping to chill the number of arsons in the city this summer as temperatures heat up.

The WPS issued a public reminder last week for residents across the city to drop their risk of becoming arson victims by following some fairly simple tips:

• Reporting discarded furniture or other large garbage items to 311;

• Avoiding placing bins, garbage or other combustible items against the outside walls of the home, garage, shed or fence as they make for a ready supply of fuel for arsonists;

• Placing new garbage and recycling containers out in the morning on the day of pickup, before 7 a.m., but not the night before;

• Properly storing flammable material such as propane tanks and gas cans;

• Making sure properties are well-lit and secure;

• Removing abandoned vehicles;

• Organizing and participating in local Citizens on Patrol or Neighbourhood Watch programs;

• Speaking with neighbours and encouraging each other to contact police about suspicious activity.

Warm weather often brings an increase in arsons, police said.

The city is moving forward with stiffer fines for people and businesses caught illegally dumping or accumulating large amounts of garbage.

Mynarski Coun. Ross Eadie, who pushed for higher fines, says bulk garbage and illegal dumping remain an issue and are both a major contributor to arson in the neighbourhoods.

For more info, call 204-985-9949 or visit http://www.winnipeg.ca/police/TakeAction/arson_prev.stm.

matt.preprost@canstarnews.com

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Twitter: @timesWPG

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