The Chief Fire Officer of North Wales Fire and Rescue Service is urging the public across the region to ‘take extra care’ at home and on the roads following the Fire Brigades Union’s announcement that firefighters in England and Wales will take further industrial action on Friday 1st November between 6.30pm and 11.00pm and Monday 4th November between 6am and 8am.
Chief Fire Officer, Simon Smith, said “Of particular concern to us at this time of year of course is the likelihood, especially on a Friday evening, that members of the public may be out celebrating bonfire night which again increases the risk to safety.”
“I am therefore urging people to be extra vigilant think more carefully about the situations they may be putting themselves into. Historically these are times when calls to the fire and rescue service are at their peak and regrettably it is likely that during the strike period we won’t be able to respond as we normally would – prevention is best, so take these simple steps to ensure your safety and those of your loved ones:
- Ensure you have a smoke alarm and test that it is in working order.
- Do not mix drinking and cooking – it’s a recipe for disaster. If you are hungry get a takeaway or make a sandwich. Do not get the chip pan out or leave cooking unattended.
- Avoid any unnecessary journeys and pay particular attention to road safety – if you are unfortunate enough to be in a collision we may not be able to get there to help you as quickly as we normally would.
- Switch off any unused electrical appliances before you go to bed and close all doors – make sure you have an escape plan in the event of fire.
- Ensure you extinguish smoking materials and take care with candles.
- Get your chimney cleaned and use a fire guard on open fires.
- If a fire does start – get out, stay out and call 999. Don’t be tempted to tackle a fire yourself.
The number of firefighters from North Wales Fire and Rescue Service expected to make a protest by striking is high and will result in a reduction in the resources available.
The Chief Fire Officer said “As a consequence, the fire and rescue service will not be able to provide the same high level of response as it normally would – it will continue to respond to emergency calls by prioritising the deployment of the available resources at its disposal and focussing on the protection of life.”
Members of the public who may need to call the fire and rescue service regarding a non-urgent matter during a period of industrial action are requested to consider waiting until strike action ends to make that call.
If you are interested in what the strike is about, you can read our report here on the last walk out at Wrexham’s fire station.