RESIDENTS in Gloucestershire are being reassured that a professional fire and rescue service will be maintained in the county despite strike action today.
The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has called for its members to engage in additional industrial action over national pension arrangements.
The first strike runs today from 10am until 7pm, with further action at various times from Monday, July 14 until Monday, July 21.
Although the dispute is outside the control of Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service, around 130 full-time staff and a number of retained firefighters are members of the FBU and could support the strike.
Chief Fire Officer Stewart Edgar said: “We have significant contingency plans in place in the county, which have been proven to be effective in previous strikes.
“We would never be complacent however, and I would urge residents and business owners to make sure they do everything they can to stay safe in their homes or workplace.”
Local businesses are being urged to ensure fire alarms have been tested and are working, keep fire doors closed, make sure smoking policies are being rigidly enforced and switch off and unplug any unused electrical equipment.
Meanwhile, residents are being encouraged to take steps to ensure their families are safe at home.
Fires can start for a variety of reasons, from cooking being left unattended, to electrical faults or candles being placed too close to furnishings.
The best advice is for everyone to ensure they have a smoke alarm in their home and to check the battery is working at least once a week.
ore information and advice for residents can be found at www.glosfire.gov.uk or www.direct.gov.uk/firekills
Residents are also being encouraged to avoid making unnecessary 999 calls, with crews prioritising incidents where there is a risk to life.