Northamptonshire County Council’s fire and rescue service is to strike over the festive period.
As a result of the on-going national dispute with the government, the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has announced that it intends to take further industrial action on:
O Tuesday, December 24, between 7pm and midnight;
O Tuesday, December 31, between 6.30pm and 12.30am;
O Friday, January 3, between 6.30am and 8.30am.
The fire service has contingency plans in place to ensure disruption to kept to a minimum.
Planning has continued 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.
Residents are also reminded that there are a few simple steps they can follow to reduce the risk of fire in the home:
1 Protect your home with working smoke alarms, install smoke alarms on every floor and test them every week. Never take batteries out of smoke alarms for those Christmas toys and games.
2 Take extra care in the kitchen as more than half of accidental house fires start in the kitchen.
3 Check your electrics, check and maintain you appliances, cables and plugs.
4 If you smoke, make sure you put out your cigarette – right out.
5 Make sure you all sleep safe – have a bedtime routine of unplugging and switching off before closing doors on your way to bed.
6 Plan a safe escape and make sure everyone in your home knows how to get out in an emergency.
7 Please make sure all Christmas decorations are safe and in compliance with relevant standards. Don’t leave candles unattended and always make sure they are out and the tree lights are off when you leave the house. Don’t leave children alone with candles.
8 Please bear in mind alcohol does impair the perception of risk – especially when cooking the Christmas dinner. Please enjoy a happy and safe festive season.
Head of community services Mark Ainge said: “This is good advice for everyone to follow at all times.
“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 may be stretched so we would also like to remind people that as always, only call 999 in an emergency.”
For more advice about how to reduce the risks of fire, people can visit www.northamptonshire.gov.uk/fire.