News release text
Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) is again asking people to take extra care and stay safe during the next round of industrial action announced by the Fire Brigades Union (FBU).
Members of the FBU in England and Wales will strike for eight days, from Saturday, 9 August to Saturday, 16 August between noon – 2pm and 10.59pm – 11.59pm.
KFRS Director of Operations, Sean Bone-Knell said: “This is not a dispute between KFRS and our firefighters, its part of a long-running dispute between the FBU and the Government over pensions and firefighters’ retirement age.
“During periods of strike action we will still be responding to emergencies but are asking people to be extra careful. We will have fire engines and other emergency vehicles at strategic locations around the county to provide the best possible cover, but we will not be operating at our normal level of service.
“This is why we are urging local people to take a few simple safety precautions during the strike periods, such as making sure smoke alarms are working, not leaving cooking unattended and driving safely on the county’s roads. The warm dry weather can also lead to an increase in the number of calls to outdoor fires so please stub cigarettes completely out and dispose of them carefully. Help us keep 999 calls to the fire service to a minimum during the strike by talking to children about the importance of not making hoax calls or staring fires deliberately, both of which could take us away from genuine emergencies.”
Keep your family safe and help reduce the risk of fire by following our #takeextracare safety advice:
During the school holidays please make sure children are aware of the dangers of water and fires in the countryside – glass bottles, cigarettes and BBQs can cause serious fires
Make sure you have working smoke alarms on every floor of your home and test them regularly and have a fire escape plan that everyone in your home knows so that you can get out in an emergency
Never leave cooking unattended
If you’re planning a BBQ keep it away from fences, trees and anything that could catch alight and never use accelerants such as petrol to get it started. Keep a bucket of water or sand nearby for emergencies
Unplug any unused electrical appliances before you go out and don’t overload electric sockets
Avoid leaving electrical items running, such as the washing machine or tumble dryer, overnight or if you’re out
The main risks late at night are unattended cooking (particularly when alcohol or medication is involved). If you fancy a late night snack, a takeaway or cold snack might be a better option
Drive with care using a safe speed for the road conditions, allowing plenty of space between your vehicle and the one in front
KFRS also has a checklist for businesses with important preventative measures they can take themselves. Get more safety advice or call 0800 923 7000 (free from landlines).