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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Revellers and motorists urged to be vigilant during FBU strikes

10/12/2013

Staffordshire’s Chief Fire Officer is urging revellers and motorists to be vigilant ahead of the Fire Brigades Union strikes this weekend.

"I am mindful that the industrial action is due to take place when many people will be enjoying Christmas parties or celebrations. While I am keen for people to have fun during the festivities, I would also urge revellers to be careful when they are out and about and to avoid cooking when they return home if they have had an alcoholic drink. Statistics show that most accidental house fires start in the kitchen and many of these incidents result from cooking left unattended and igniting. We don’t want a celebration to turn into a tragedy."

Chief Fire Officer Peter Dartford

The FBU will be taking industrial action between 6pm-10pm on Friday and Saturday as part of a dispute with the government over pensions.

Contingency plans are again being put in place across the county ahead of the industrial action and emergency response crews will be available at strategic locations across Staffordshire.

In addition, the Chief Fire Officer will be based in fire control at Stone HQ to monitor and manage all emergency calls received during the two four-hour strike periods where the Service will be prioritising life risk incidents

The Service is warning the Staffordshire community that it will not be business as usual and is urging residents to take extra care during the strike and to only dial 999 in a genuine emergency.

Chief Fire Officer Peter Dartford said: "I would like to thank members of the community for their vigilance during the previous periods of industrial action and to urge them to continue to show the same level of caution during the two planned four hour strikes.

"I am mindful that the industrial action is due to take place when many people will be enjoying Christmas parties or celebrations. While I am keen for people to have fun during the festivities, I would also urge revellers to be careful when they are out and about and to avoid cooking when they return home if they have had an alcoholic drink. Statistics show that most accidental house fires start in the kitchen and many of these incidents result from cooking left unattended and igniting. We don’t want a celebration to turn into a tragedy.

"Likewise, if you are going to have a drink, stay safe and leave the car at home. Conditions on the road are more hazardous now that the nights are drawing in and there is also a possibility of rain at the weekend. Pay full attention when behind the wheel, stick to the speed limit, always wear your seatbelt and never use a mobile phone when driving. Practicing common sense could save your or someone else’s life."

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