Further firefighters strikes – try not to be complacent and continue to ‘take extra care’Posted 04/08/2014 14:10:36
The Chief Fire Officer of North Wales Fire and Rescue Service is urging the public across North Wales to try not to become complacent as firefighter strikes are set to continue - and to remember to 'take extra care' at home and on the roads.
The plea comes following the Fire Brigades Union's announcement that firefighters in England and Wales will take further industrial action next week starting on Saturday 9th August up until Saturday 16th August, with daily strikes scheduled from noon until 2pm and from just before 11pm until just before midnight.
Chief Fire Officer, Simon Smith, stressed:
"This is the second series of intermittent strikes over a longer period and there is a real risk that as they go about their every day lives people will begin to take less notice of our safety advice - but the risk to the public remains high and therefore I am asking people to be extra vigilant about their safety.
"The level of cooperation from the public to date has been fantastic and this has
clearly helped with the level of demand on our services - I would ask that people continue to heed our advice and maintain the same level of cooperation throughout the next series of strikes.
"Attention to fire safety in and around the home, as well as road safety, is of even more importance than usual when our resources are limited during a strike. The call for people to be extra vigilant and to think more carefully about the situations they may be putting themselves into is therefore a very serious one. Regrettably it is likely that during the strike period we won't be able to respond as we normally would - prevention is best, so we are asking everyone to take these simple steps to ensure their safety and those of loved ones;
Ensure you have a smoke alarm and test that it is in working order - fit one in your caravan before caravanning.
Do not mix drinking and cooking - it can be a recipe for disaster. If you are hungry after a night out, get a takeaway or make a sandwich - do not get the chip pan out or leave cooking unattended.
Don't drink and drive - walk, get a lift, taxi or if in a group organise a driver and take turns to drive. 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
Don't drink and BBQ - the chef should always wait until the cooking has finished befor enjoying a drink, and never use any flammable liquids to start or revive a barbecue that is going out. Do not leave a barbeque unattended and always allow embers to cool before disposal.
Switch off any unused electrical appliances before you go to bed, including your TV, and close all doors -make sure you have an escape plan in the event of fire
Ensure you extinguish smoking material and take extra care with naked flames.
Grass fires can spread quickly during dry weather, putting lives and property at serious risk so avoid using naked flames when out and about and dispose of smoking materials with care.
Remember setting fires deliberately is a crime for which you can be prosecuted - if you have any information about a deliberate fire please call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.
If a fire does start - get out, stay out and call 999. Don't be tempted to tackle a fire yourself."
Safety advice on all the above and additional guidance for the public and businesses is available on the North Wales Fire and Rescue Service website www.nwales-fireservice.org.uk and social network sites on Facebook www.facebook.com/Northwalesfireserviceand Twitter @NorthWalesFire
(#takeextracare), as well as through the local news.
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. 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.
Chief Fire Officer Simon Smith reassured the public "North Wales Fire and Rescue Service has arrangements in place to continue to provide a service during strike action" but warned that, "because of the circumstances, services may be limited.
"The Service's business continuity arrangements will ensure a speedy and safe return to normal services on conclusion of any period of industrial action."
Councillor Meirick Lloyd Davies, Chairman of North Wales Fire and Rescue Authority, said: "Whilst we understand the concerns of staff which have led to their decision to make a protest in this way, we have a duty and an obligation to ensure that the provision of services remains as unaffected as reasonably practicable. This is a dispute between the Fire Brigade's Union and the Government in England and Wales over proposed changes to pension arrangements. However our number one priority is to ensure public safety."
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.
For general advice on summer safety, please click here.