stop smokingA campaign to reduce fires caused by fake goods has become one of the first to win funding under a ground breaking fire service funding initiative.

The Doncaster Council led ‘Fakes Cause Fires’ campaign will use posters, videos and pocket sized information cards to educate residents about the dangers associated with buying counterfeit goods.

The campaign, which launches across South Yorkshire this autumn, will also encourage people to report fake goods to trading standards, persuade them to use stop smoking services and generate referrals for South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue’s free home safety checks initiative.

Further reading: Foam filled fakes

SYFRS Head of Community Safety, Kevin Ronan, said: “We’ve been campaigning on this issue for some time now, so it’s great to see local authorities across South Yorkshire taking a proactive approach to tackling this issue.

“We were impressed by the targeted approach of the campaign, and expect this work to have a lasting effect in terms of protecting people for the damage caused by fake goods.”

Real dangers in using fake goods
Six areas in each of Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield will be targeted over two years. The areas have been chosen based on fire service statistics which show they are at higher risk of fires.

Fake goods which commonly cause the fire service concern include hair straighteners, phone and e-cig chargers and counterfeit and foreign cigarettes.

Deputy Mayor of Doncaster Glyn Jones added: “It is very easy not to realise the damage fake goods can cause. I hope this campaign helps people to understand the very real dangers involved in using fake goods. Fakes cause fires and sadly those fires can cost lives. We want to help people realise and understand the risks. These products may be cheaper but they don’t have the same safety features as the real thing.”

The ‘Fakes Cause Fires’ campaign won £43,000 under South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Authority’s funding scheme, the Stronger Safer Communities Reserve.
The fund saw dozens of registered charities, community organisations and partner agencies come forward and apply for grants from the £2 million fund, which had been set aside from the Authority’s reserves.