WARNING stickers are to be put on bins in Horwich in a bid to combat a wave of arson attacks in the area.

Bolton Council and the fire service are urging residents to make sure their bins are not left out for long periods before or after collection times.

The warning comes after four bins were set on fire by arsonists near Chorley Old Road on Friday, January 4 — one of which spread to a resident’s garden.

Firefighters from Horwich have responded to the attacks by putting stickers on wheelie bins near Chorley Road to encourage residents to put their bins out of reach from would-be arsonists.

A Bolton Council spokesman said: “Incidents such as these bring into clear focus how important it is to make sure that bins are not left out before collection days, and are brought in on the collection day, as soon as possible after they have been emptied.

“Bin fires are very dangerous and we work with the fire service and police to counter these problem. We are responding to this incident by conducting a bin sticker and leaflet drop in the area.

“Residents should make sure that bins are secure when empty and not overfilled or left with loose rubbish around the bin.

“We would also advise people not to store bins close to doors or windows, as any fire in the bin could easily spread to your property, and, if possible, to store wheelie bins securely behind locked gates.”

One bin was set alight in Tredgold Street, off Chorley New Road, at 11.17pm on Friday.

Minutes later, at 11.42pm, firefighters were called to nearby Hawksley Street where three bins were on fire and spread to a fence.

A campaign was launched in Bolton in a bid to cut wheelie bin fires after the death of Hameeda Begum, aged 71, and her granddaughter, Alana Mian, aged four.

Fire spread to their house in Little Holme Walk, Great Lever, when a wheelie bin was set alight outside their front door.

Watch Manager Craig Lunt at Horwich Fire Station said: “The stickers are there to remind people to take their bins in after collections. Not only can bin fires prevent us from attending other serious incidents quickly, they can result in house fires and a loss of life.”

Each bin fire attended by the fire service costs taxpayers £1900.

One resident from Tedgold Street, aged 63, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “I think the stickers are a good idea because some residents never take their bins in. I suppose it depends on the space you have to keep them. If you live in a flat there probably isn’t much space for them.

“I think people set bins on fire when they’ve been out and got drunk. The ones on our road were set on fire on a Friday night when the collections were altered.”

For a free home fire risk assessment, call: 0800 555 815.