Notts Fire and Rescue is urging people to pay particular attention to their pre-Christmas safety routines this weekend during planned industrial action by the Fire Brigades Union (FBU).
Industrial action is scheduled to take place between 6pm and 10pm on Friday 13th December and Saturday 14th December as part of the union’s dispute with the Government over pensions.
Notts Fire and Rescue Service will respond to 999 calls with a reduced number of resources during this time, and response times to incidents could be slower than usual.
Chief fire officer Frank Swann said: “Naturally we want people to take care and avoid fire and other incidents at all times of the year, but the run up to Christmas can be a particularly busy and stressful time and it’s easy to become distracted.”
“People also tend to be more active socially, and may be tempted to cook or use candles and other naked flames whilst under the influence of alcohol. With additional fire hazards such as Christmas decorations, presents, lights and candles around the house, this can be a recipe for disaster.”
“I would like to ask everyone to take extra care this weekend to keep themselves and others safe from fire, accidents on the roads or other situations that might increase their risk of injury. Switch off Christmas lights at the plug before you leave the house or go to bed, take extra care with candles and ensure Christmas decorations are positioned well away from any naked flame or electrical fitting.”
“This would be the perfect time for people to check their smoke alarms are working and that spare batteries are available, as well as revisiting night time routines and ensuring visitors to your home are aware of what to do in an emergency. I would also like to stress the importance of driving carefully and responsibly during dark evenings.”
Mr Swann added that he hoped for a speedy resolution to the dispute between the FBU and the Government.
As in previous periods of industrial action, the public and business community are advised that:
- 999 calls will be responded to by trained firefighters, but resources will be significantly lower than usual; you should therefore only call 999 if it’s a genuine emergency.
- The service will not respond to automatic fire alarms during industrial action unless it is followed up with a 999 call stating that there is a genuine emergency. In the event of an actual fire, businesses with premises where fire alarms go direct to a collecting station should carry out a full evacuation and dial 999 to report it.
- Businesses whose premises have automatic fire alarms and no staff based there, may want to consider placing staff onsite in case of fire.