Public urged to ‘take extra care’ during planned firefighters strikes over bank holiday periodPosted
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 in the run up to and during the May bank holiday weekend;
- Friday 2nd May between noon and 5pm
- Saturday 3rd May from 2pm until 2am the following morning
- Sunday 4th May from 10am until 3pm
Chief Fire Officer,Simon Smith, stressed: "The Fire Brigades Union has chosen to strike at a time when the risk to people's safety is inherently more significant - as people are likely to be out making the most of the bank holiday weekend, travelling on the roads for a short break, out socialising, or cooking at home entertaining family and friends.
"Over any bank holiday period, we can see a rise in the number of calls to the fire and rescue service so attention to fire safety in and around the home, as well as road safety, is therefore of even more importance during this time.
"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 - our experience proves it really can be a recipe for disaster. Everyone enjoys a bank holiday tipple but be responsible and do not leave cooking unattended. 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.
- 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, including your TV, and close all doors - make sure you have an escape plan in the event of fire
- Ensure you extinguish smoking materials and take extra care with naked flames. Take care with barbeques - do not leave one unattended and always allow embers to cool before disposal.
- Be extra vigilant about your safety when out camping or caravanning - be responsible with gas cylinders and when using flammable liquids. Never leave naked flames unattended.
- 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/Northwalesfireservice and Twitter @NorthWalesFire (#takeextracare), as well as through the local news.
Everyone likes to enjoy themselves over a bank holiday weekend but members of the public are urged to keep safety in mind while by following our simple safety tips and advice.
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 OfficerSimon Smithreassured 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.
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