Householders in Gloucestershire are being urged to be extra vigilant to the threat of fires at homes in the face of a possible strike
As local firefighters threaten to take industrial action on next Wednesday (September 25) from 12-4pm as part of a national strike over pension arrangements, Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service will be providing an emergency response service - and is reminding residents of the importance of staying safe.
Chief Fire Officer Jon Hall said: “We’ve put a range of measures in place to ensure that, throughout this short period of industrial unrest, we can provide a highly effective and professional fire service for the people of Gloucestershire.
“However, during the proposed strike, there may be a slight increase in the time it takes for the fire engines to arrive. So now is the time for local people to make absolutely sure they have thought about fire safety in their home.
“Fires can start for a variety of reasons, from cooking being left unattended, to electrical faults or candles being placed too close to furnishings. The best advice we can give is for everyone to ensure they have a smoke alarm in their home and to check the battery is working at least once a week.
“Smoke detectors provide an early warning of a fire and can give occupants vital extra minutes to escape, especially at night. But a smoke alarm can only save your life if it is working and the battery is checked regularly.”
More than 50 per cent of fires attended by county firefighters start in the kitchen, so people are asked to take particular care when cooking.
County Councillor Will Windsor-Clive, cabinet member for fire, planning and infrastructure, said: “We want to reassure local people that the county fire and rescue service is fully prepared with plans in place to ensure communities get the protection they need.
“I must emphasise that people should still call 999 in an emergency so that an experienced control room operator can deal with their situation. As always, though, fire safety is all about prevention and it is up to families to know the risks, and know what to do should the worst happen.”
For more fire safety advice and tips on how to protect your home from fire visit wwwglosfire.gov.uk or contact the community safety team on 01452 753333.