Fire safety warning as more strikes are planned
9:48am Monday 14th July 2014 in News By Alexandra Womack, senior reporter covering Yate, Chipping Sodbury, Winterbourne, Frampton Cotterell, Rangeworthy, Wickwar, Hawkesbury, Iron Acton, Coalpit Heath and Old Sodbury
RESIDENTS have been warned to make sure their fire alarms are working as crews continue to strike over several days this month.
Avon Fire and Rescue Service is urging people to check their alarms and take extra care when cooking as more industrial action is due to take place.
In an on-going dispute with the government over pensions, Fire Brigades’ Union (FBU) members will stage strikes every day this week for several hours at a time.
During the strikes, a skeleton service will operate from six strategic locations across the Avon area. Fire cover will be provided by firefighters who are not part of the FBU. They will work alongside auxiliary firefighters who have received training to provide basic support to fully qualified crews.
Due to the reduced emergency service, members of the public are advised to expect longer response times as calls will be prioritised towards those where there is a risk to life.
Chief Fire Officer Kevin Pearson said: “Although we have resilience plans in place during the strike, they are not a direct replacement for the service we normally provide.
“I would urge everyone to make every effort to reduce the risk of a fire starting in their home or business as we may take longer to reach you. Simple things like ensuring you do not leave cooking unattended, making sure you check smoke alarms are working and rehearsing escape routes with your family will certainly help you stay safer.
“Business owners and managers should also check their own fire risk assessments.”
The walk outs take place today, Monday, July 14, (5-7pm), Tuesday, July 15 (6-8am and 5-7pm), Wednesday, July 16 (6-8am and 5-7pm), Thursday, July 17 (6-8am and 5-7pm), Friday, July 18 (6-8am and 11pm to 1am on Saturday, July 19), Saturday, July 19 (11am-1pm and 11pm-1am on Sunday, July 20), Sunday, July 20 (5-7pm) and Monday, July 21 (6-8am and 5-7pm).