Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service is urging people to share its latest campaign in a bid to discourage young people from starting fires.
The new plea to spread the Flames Aren’t Games message comes after figures for last month showed another increase in arson attacks when compared to last year.
Last month fire crews were called to 101 fires out the open or in disused buildings in the country where the cause was arson. This year, the figure has risen by almost 70 per cent – with crews attending 170 deliberate fires in Staffordshire.
One of the most recent examples of this type of incident was a fire at the old Coral building in Old Hall Street, Hanley, which took more than 25 firefighters and more 12 hours to deal with.
The revamped Flames Aren’t Games campaign, featuring an innovative spoken word music video, aims to highlight the dangers of setting fires and the consequences for those responsible.
The video is a collaboration between the fire service, the Urban Arts Centre and young people from Staffordshire.
It tells the story of a young man, played by Jordan Lynam, who used to set fires but has since changed his ways and now wants to educate others about fire safety.
Deputy Chief Fire Officer Rob Barber said: "It is very concerning to see this type of incident still on the increase but with the launch of our campaign last week, we are really hopeful that we will see this change throughout August.
"We urge the public to share our video and campaign messages on social media and ask parents to ensure their children know that setting fires puts lives at risk, takes valuable firefighting resources away from other possible emergencies and could lead to a jail term and hefty fine.
"We’re working with partners around the county to run diversionary activities for young people but we also need your help with this. Please spread the word that Flames Aren’t Games and help us make August the first month this year to see a drop in deliberate fires."