News release text
Following the announcement that the Fire Brigades Union will be striking on Friday 13 December and Saturday 14 December, Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) is again appealing for residents to remember a vital checklist aimed at preventing fires and saving lives.
KFRS is putting plans in place to be prepared to respond with a contingency level of fire and rescue services during these further periods of industrial action – 6pm to 10pm both nights - but is calling on people to spend five minutes to make sure their home is safe during the strike.
The #takeextracare checklist includes:
If you are going out on Friday and/or Saturday evening:
· Check your smoke alarm works.
· Unplug any unused electrical items before you go out and don’t overload electric sockets which is a major cause of fires. Be careful with Christmas tree lights and decorations.
· Avoid leaving electrical items running, such as the washing machine or tumble dryer, while you are away from home. Don’t set your oven to come on via a timer when you are out.
· If you’re planning a late night snack after an evening out, maybe this is the night to get a takeaway as so many kitchen fires are alcohol related.
· Drive carefully and wear a seatbelt – speed limits aren’t targets.
And for anyone at home:
· Don’t leave any cooking unattended, especially if you’ve been drinking alcohol or are on medication.
· Avoid using candles and certainly do not leave them burning if you’re not in the room.
· If you are out walking, stick to safe areas and avoid water and deep mud where you may get into difficulties.
KFRS Chief Executive, Ann Millington said: "We will again be answering 999 calls and responding to incidents across the county but we will not be operating at our normal level, so we must again ask people to avoid making non-emergency calls to us during these periods.
“Residents can play their part and take extra precautions to keep themselves and local businesses safe. Just a few minutes following our safety advice could make a real difference; for example, making sure plugs aren’t overloaded – especially with Christmas tree lights - and doing a five minute check around the home before you go out.
“During previous strikes over the last few months, the public have heeded our safety warnings and we do want to thank them for that. Again we would like to thank the staff who kept fire engines on the run and did their best to help keep the county safe during these strikes.”