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1 November 2013, 08:24
Remember, remember, take extra care this November Please celebrate safely this weekend.
That is the message from Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service as the next planned industrial action by the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) coincides with the beginning of firework celebrations.
The FBU recently announced two further strikes on Friday 1 November from 6:30pm to 11pm, and Monday 4 November from 6am to 8am, following recent talks with government which failed to reach an agreement.
Hampshire's Fire and Rescue Service will remain in operation throughout the periods of action and be answering calls as normal.
But it is also calling for the public to ‘take extra care’ to help reduce calls during that time.
Hampshire's Assistant Chief Officer Neil Odin said:
"We are prepared for the industrial action. We will once again strive to provide a safe level of cover for the county as we did during the previous industrial action, managing to maintain around 50% of the fire appliances that we would normally have available.
"But inevitably there is going to be an impact on our usual response times. With the forthcoming celebrations around bonfire night and Diwali, I would urge the public to be especially careful with fireworks and candles to help reduce unnecessary calls."
“There are many well organised firework displays in the county this November. We would recommend attending one instead of a celebration at home. If you still intend to have your own bonfire party always follow the Firework Code."
The Service is asking the public to only call 999 if there is a genuine need for a fire engine as it will need to prioritise calls where a life may be at risk or someone needs to be rescued.
ACO Odin added:
“During the strike periods we are keen to urge everyone to ‘take extra care’ and do what they can to help prevent fires, and collisions on the road.
“Many fires in the home are caused by everyday activities like cooking and smoking, if consuming alcohol as well then the risk of a fire increases substantially.
"If you are going out this Friday evening for a few drinks, why not pick up a takeaway on your way home instead of cooking, and if you are a smoker always make sure you put it out, right out.
“As the second strike period takes place on Monday morning, we would also like to urge drivers to give the road their full attention and never use a mobile phone whilst driving. We all too often see the devastation of road traffic collisions often caused by distractions."
The Service is also reminding householders to install smoke alarms and make sure they are working, which will give occupants the vital warning of fires in their home, enabling everyone to escape safely.
ACO Odin concluded:
"If you do have a fire, our advice remains to get out of the house, stay out and call 999.”
For more fire safety advice including firework and bonfire tips, and information on the industrial action visit www.hantsfire.gov.uk