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Wiltshire fire chief issues safety plea ahead of strike by firefighters
1:33pm Monday 23rd September 2013 in Latest News
Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service is urging members of the public to take steps to protect themselves and their loved ones from the risks of fire when firefighters strike on Wednesday.
Following a national dispute between the Fire Brigades’ Union and the Government over pensions, firefighters will be taking industrial action for four hours from midday on Wednesday 25 September. As such, Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service will be providing a reduced emergency response service, so is asking for help from the local community.
Chief Fire Officer Simon Routh-Jones said: “While the industrial action is ongoing we will still be responding to 999 calls, but we are asking members of the public to take extra steps to reduce the risk of a fire breaking out in their home.
“Fires can start for a variety of reasons, from cooking being left unattended, to electrical faults or candles being placed too close to furnishings. The best advice we can give is for everyone to ensure they have a smoke alarm in their home and to check the battery is working at least once a week.
“Smoke detectors provide an early warning of a fire and can give occupants vital extra minutes to escape, especially at night.
"But a smoke alarm can only save your life if it is working and the battery is checked regularly. If you do have a fire, get out of the house, stay out and call 999 – we will respond.”
More than 50 per cent of fires attended by the Fire & Rescue Service nationally start in the kitchen, so people are encouraged to take particular care when cooking.
Mr Routh-Jones also urged drivers to take extra care while on the roads: “A significant part of our emergency response is to road traffic collisions, so while we would always ask drivers to be cautious, that message is even more important at this time," he said.
"Always drive to the conditions – slow down if it is raining or foggy, never drink and drive, and be aware of what is going on around you. Taking a few minutes more for your journey is preferable to not arriving at all.”
For more safety advice and tips on how to protect your home from fire visit www.wiltsfire.gov.uk
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