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Residents Urged to Take Care During Christmas Eve Strike


5:01am 24th December 2013

The Humberside Fire and Rescue Service and the North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service are warning householders to be more vigilant than normal to ensure communities stay safe during industrial action due to take place this evening.

Fire Brigades Union members will take industrial action on Christmas Eve between 19:00hrs and midnight and on New Year’s Eve between 18:30hrs and 00:30hrs. There will be a further strike on Friday 3 January between 06:30hrs and 08:30hrs. The Service will be providing a reduced emergency response service during those times.

Deputy Chief Fire Officer Dene Sanders from Humberside Fire and Rescue said: “We always warn people to take care because it is far better to avoid problems happening in the first place. This message is more important than ever during strike periods because while we will still be responding to 999 calls, the level of service will be reduced.”

Deputy Chief Fire Officer, Andy Trowsdale from 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.

The warning comes as at Christmas many people cook more than normal which can increase the risk of a fire in the home.

Recommended ways to ensure fire safety in the home during the festive period include:

Take extra care in the kitchen and never leave cooking unattended.

Make sure grill pans and oven trays are regularly cleaned as fat build up can catch fire when hot.

Make sure decorative lights have a British Safety Standard sign.

Don’t leave decorative lights on after bed time or when the home is unoccupied.

Don’t overload electrical sockets.

Keep paper or card decorations away from fireplaces and don’t attach them to light fittings or heaters.

Keep children away from candles and matches.

Make sure visitors know how to escape in an emergency.

Stub cigarettes out properly and dispose of them carefully. Put them out. Right out.

Close all internal doors before going to bed, this will prevent a fire from spreading should one break out.

If you do have a fire, get out of the house, stay out and call 999.

If there is a 999 call from a premises where an alarm has activated confirming that there is a fire in the premises then we will prioritise these calls. Please do not call 999 just because your alarm has activated.

Our top tips to businesses are that they should make sure that:

  • the fire risk assessment for the premises is up to date and has been acted on
  • measures to reduce the risk of fire are in place and are working
  • fire precautions in the building are working
  • the emergency plan is up to date and appropriate to ensure evacuation in case of fire without the need for fire service assistance
  • all staff know what to do in case of fire.

 For further information download a copy of our ‘Take Extra Care- Safeguard your Business’ leaflet.

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