Is TikTok craze linked to deliberate fires in the area?

An alarming new craze in which people using the video-sharing social media platform TikTok record themselves starting fires could be occurring locally.

At a recent meeting of the Downend, Emersons Green & Frenchay Community Engagement Forum, Bill Crocker, from Bromley Heath Neighbourhood Watch, highlighted how there have been incidents further north in the country in which people post footage of them setting fire to hedges and then seeing how bad it can get before the fire service arrives.

He asked an Avon Fire & Rescue Service representative at the meeting whether there was any evidence of the dangerous trend spreading to our region.

The local watch manager said that over the past few weeks there have been a spate of fires involving fences, hedges and park benches and although he did not know whether any of them were specifically TikTok related, he acknowledged there may be a link.

He was aware of another TikTok trend happening locally involving adults squeezing into child swings and then getting stuck.

This week Avon Fire & Rescue Service (AF&RS) told us that they responded to 10 deliberately started small fires between 5th May and 6th June.

“We remind the public that fire-setting of this nature is illegal and can pose a significant threat.”

There was also an incident last Thursday afternoon which saw crews from Bedminster fire station called to a large grass and hedge fire at the open space at the rear of Hengrove Leisure Centre. They used high pressure hose reels and beaters to extinguish the flames.

Regarding the other TikTok trend, AF&RS say there have been incidents including one last Monday evening (14th June) when firefighters were called to Speedwell Road to reports of a person trapped in a swing. Firefighters used small tools to free the occupant.

“The person involved did not sustain any injuries, and the local council were advised of the damage to park equipment,” the spokesperson said.

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