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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Take extra care as resources are reduced during FBU strike

30/10/2014

Diwali sparklers
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Residents are being warned that resources will be reduced during the 96-hour Fire Brigades Union (FBU) strike which will be held in the run up to Bonfire Night.

"The vast majority of injuries caused by fireworks take place at parties held by friends or relatives which is why we would always strongly urge people to attend organised events that have to adhere to a raft of safety and legal regulations. Lighting a bonfire in your garden can pose a serious risk to those in the vicinity. It could easily get out of hand and spread rapidly, causing at the very least damage to property and at the worst, putting lives in danger." 

Dean Stevens - Director of Prevent and Protect

Celebrations to mark the occasion are due to take place across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent from tomorrow night – coinciding with the latest round of industrial action by the FBU.

The strike will start at 6pm on October 31 and will run until 6pm on November 4. This is the longest period of continuous industrial action in the dispute so far.

Director of Prevent and Protect Dean Stevens is calling on members of the community not to host private parties in gardens and to only attend organised events which have to meet stringent health, safety and legal requirements.

Mr Stevens said: "The vast majority of injuries caused by fireworks take place at parties held by friends or relatives which is why we would always strongly urge people to attend organised events that have to adhere to a raft of safety and legal regulations.

"Lighting a bonfire in your garden can pose a serious risk to those in the vicinity. It could easily get out of hand and spread rapidly, causing at the very least damage to property and at the worst, putting lives in danger.

"The weekends either side of Bonfire Night are traditionally some of our busiest and this year, the situation will be compounded by the national Fire Brigades Union strike, starting at 6pm on Friday.

"Our resources will be stretched so I would ask people to bear this in mind and to take extra care during the strike period whether they are at a Bonfire Night celebration, at home or on the road. It is absolutely vital that people check to make sure their smoke alarms are working – if they are not you are literally playing Russian roulette with your life and your family’s lives.

"We have contingency plans in place but I would remind residents that it will not be business as usual. We will, however, continue to provide an emergency response to all life-threat situations and will also answer all 999 calls."

It will be the12th round of strike action to be held since the dispute between the FBU and the Government began in September 2013 over pensions.

For information and safety advice visit:
http://www.staffordshirefire.gov.uk/2722.asp

For information on the Firework Code visit: http://www.staffordshirefire.gov.uk/1324.asp