Strike threat prompts safety warning from county firefighters

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People are being urged to reduce the risk of fire in their home ahead of planned strike action by county firefighters.

The advice comes following the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) announcement on August 29 that they intend to take strike action in the coming weeks as a result of an on-going national dispute with the Government.

Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service has contingency plans in place to ensure disruption is kept to a minimum.

Planning has been under way for several months, both within the service and in partnership with neighbouring authorities, to ensure it can continue to respond to emergencies during this time.

But residents are being reminded that there are a few steps they can follow to reduce the risk of fire in the home.

The tips include:

– Protect your home with working smoke alarms, install smoke alarms on every floor and test them every week

– Take extra care in the kitchen as more than 50 per cent of accidental house fires start in the kitchen

– Check your electrics, check and maintain you appliances, cables and plugs

– If you smoke, make sure you put them out, right out

– Make sure you all sleep safe. Have a bedtime routine of unplugging and switching off before closing doors on your way to bed

– Plan a safe escape and make sure everyone in your home knows how to get out in an emergency

Station manager Warren Ellison said: “This is good advice for everyone to follow at all times, and is even more important during the coming weeks and months.

“We have contingency plans in place and will be continuing to respond to emergencies, but this is a testing time for fire and rescue services across the country so anything that can be done to reduce the risk of fire is definitely a good idea.

“Resources will be stretched so we would also like to remind people that as always, only call 999 in an emergency.”

Dates for any industrial action have not yet been announced by the FBU.

For more advice about how to reduce the risks of fire people can visit www.northamptonshire.gov.uk/fire or www.facebook.com/firekills.