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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Residents are reminded to be vigilant during national FBU strikes

31/10/13

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service is reminding revellers to take extra care during Bonfire Night and Diwali celebrations ahead of industrial action by the Fire Brigades Union this weekend.

"It is vital that people are aware that there is a national Fire Brigades Union strike on Friday night and also during the rush hour on Monday morning, and therefore they should take extra care during these times."There is no need for people to be alarmed as we have contingency plans in place and will continue to respond to all life risk incidents. However, residents must be aware that it will not be business as usual and to act accordingly."

Director of Response Julian Hilditch

The first of two strikes will be held between 6.30pm-11pm tomorrow and the second will take place from 6am-8am on Monday, November 4.

Firefighters and volunteers are promoting safety messages across the county, giving out leaflets featuring top tips for safety in the home and on the roads.

The flyers and posters urge residents to follow six simple steps in the home:

•    Protect your home with working smoke alarms
•    Take extra care in the kitchen
•    Check your electrics
•    Plan a safe escape route in the event of an emergency
•    Smoke safely – put smoking materials out properly and dispose of them carefully
•    Make sure you sleep safely – a bedtime safety routine can reduce the risk of fire while you are asleep

The Service is also encouraging people to follow six simple steps on the road:

•    Reduce your speed
•    Don’t use a mobile phone while driving
•    Always wear a seatbelt
•    Don’t drink and drive – and beware the morning after
•    Watch out for cyclists and pedestrians
•    Don’t drive while tired

Director of Response Julian Hilditch said: “It is vital that people are aware that there is a national Fire Brigades Union strike on Friday night and also during the rush hour on Monday morning, and therefore they should take extra care during these times.

“There is no need for people to be alarmed as we have contingency plans in place and will continue to respond to all life risk incidents. However, residents must be aware that it will not be business as usual and to act accordingly.

“In order to ensure your own safety and the safety of others, take precautions and think about potential hazards in the home, while on the roads and at Bonfire Night and Diwali celebrations. I would urge people to only attend organised events which must adhere to strict guidelines and to refrain from holding their own fireworks activities. Taking simple steps could have life-saving consequences.”

Fire safety information and updates on the industrial action are available on Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service’s website at www.staffordshirefire.gov.uk

The FBU is in dispute with the Government over changes to firefighter pensions. The first four-hour strike by FBU members was on September 25. A subsequent five-hour planned strike on October 19 was called off.