News release text
Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) is asking residents of Kent and Medway to keep safety in mind after members of the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) unveiled the next round of strike dates planned for the festive period.
The FBU has confirmed that they will be striking from 7pm until midnight on Tuesday 24 December, from 6.30pm on Tuesday 31 December, until 12.30am on New Year’s Day, with a further strike planned for between 6.30am and 8.30am on Friday 3 January 2014.
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, but is once again asking people to do what they can to help reduce the risk of fire in their home. You can help us during this time by following our #takeextracare safety advice:
Make sure you have working smoke alarms on every floor of your home and test them regularly.
Unplug any unused electrical items before you go out and don’t overload electric sockets, this 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 or have a cold snack as so many kitchen fires are alcohol related.
Drive carefully and wear a seatbelt – speed limits aren’t targets.
And for anyone at home:
Keep looking while your cooking and don’t leave any cooking unattended, especially if you’ve been drinking alcohol or are on medication.
Avoid using candles and certainly don’t 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 would like to remind the public that this is a national dispute between the FBU and the Government and is not a dispute between KFRS and our firefighters.
"As with previous strikes, we will be putting contingency plans in place to answer 999 calls and respond to incidents across the county and will be providing the best service possible with the resources available but would like to thank the public for heeding safety warnings and taking extra care to prevent fires happening."
"We would also 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."
KFRS also has a checklist for businesses with important preventative measures they can take themselves.