New Year's Eve Fire Strike
10:56am 31st December 2013
As New Year’s Eve is a night of celebration for many, hosting parties or attending events, residents are being asked to take special care.
Residents have been warned to expect a reduced level of fire service emergency response on New Year’s Eve as Fire Brigade’s Union members strike in East Yorkshire and North Yorkshire.
Between 18:30 hrs on Tuesday December 31 and 00.30 hrs on Wednesday January 1, Humberside Fire and Rescue Service and the North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service will be using their contingency arrangements to deal with incidents like fires and road traffic collisions.
While that will enable the organisations to provide an adequate response to emergencies, normal levels of service will not be available.
Those who are entertaining others are being asked in particular to avoid cooking after drinking alcohol and to avoid leaving cooking unattended.
The Service is also repeating its advice that residents avoid using Chinese lanterns, which present a fire risk and have an environmental impact.
Deputy Chief Fire Officer Dene Sanders, Humberside Fire and Rescue Service said: “The Service continues to be tested by this national dispute but is continually assessing and reviewing its contingency plans so that the best possible service can be delivered to the community at times of strike action.”
“We will continue to provide an adequate service during strike action and to achieve this we need to draw on some of our current staff as well as reservists to provide that service; their efforts are very much appreciated.”
Residents are also being requested to spend ten minutes checking on any elderly relatives or neighbours to make sure they are not at risk from fire.
Daryl Oprey, Head of Safety for Humberside Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Winter can be a difficult time for elderly residents as the cold weather sets in and keeping warm becomes a priority.
“Fire risk in the home can increase due to people smoking indoors to stay out of the cold and using open fires and electric or gas heaters becomes frequent.
“There are quick checks residents could carry out when visiting an elderly neighbour or relative that really could make a difference to someone’s safety this winter and I urge people to get involved.”
How you could help:
1. Offer to check your neighbours smoke alarm is working – Push the button and make sure the alarm sounds.
2. If your neighbour smokes remind them to never smoke in bed or when tired, to always ensure cigarettes are fully extinguished in a proper ash tray.
3. Remind your neighbour never to leave cooking unattended and ensure the cooker is turned off before leaving the house or going to bed. Having a timer is a good reminder to turn the cooker off once finished cooking.
4. If they use a portable heater, remind your neighbour not to sit too close as fabric can catch fire. Advise them to not to leave heaters turned on overnight. If they use an open fire, ensure they use a fire guard.
Further strike action takes place on Friday 3 January 2014 from 06.30hrs – 0830hrs
If you do have a fire, get out of the house, stay out and call 999.
The top tips for staying safe this New Year’s Eve are:
Use only BS7114 fireworks. Check this when you are buying. All reputable dealers will only sell fireworks to this standard.
Keep fireworks in a closed metal box and take them out one at a time.
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on each firework. Read them by torchlight – NEVER use a naked flame.
Light fireworks at arm’s length using a safety firework lighter or fuse wick.
Stand back after lighting.
NEVER go back to a firework once lit – it may go off in your face.
Keep a bucket of water or garden hose handy.
Used fireworks should be collected after the display with care. Douse with water, bury or place in a metal container.
Keep children under control.
Keep pets indoors.
For more fire safety advice and tips on how to protect your home from fire visit www.humbersidefire.gov.uk, follow us on Twitter (www.twitter.com/humbersidefire) or like us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/humbersidefireandrescue).
Deputy Chief Fire Officer, Andy Trowsdale, North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue, said; “The arrangements we have had in place for the earlier strikes have proved adequate, however, during these strikes the Service did not experience any large incidents or high levels of calls. As there appears no immediate resolution in sight we need to ensure that our contingency plans will be sustainable if the dispute goes on for a longer period of time and that is why we have taken the step of writing to former employees of the Service.
“We need the public to be aware that over strike periods there is a reduced level of emergency cover and it is especially important for people to take extra care to keep themselves and their family safe.
“Our most important tip is to make sure you have working smoke alarms fitted on every level of your home and test them on a regular basis. As these strikes fall in the festive period and we have already had fires caused by candles that have injured people, I urge people to take extra care with candles, whilst cooking and if using fireworks such as during New Year celebrations.
“Although we will seek to respond to all emergencies as quickly as possible this is not a normal level of service as we will be operating with less resources, and it is possible that it may take longer than usual for some fire engines to arrive if we are very busy.”
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