Be Safer, Be Slower, Be Vigilant
With UK firefighters set to strike again on Monday July 21, Essex County Fire and Rescue Service’s Head of Safer Communities has issued advice to ‘help the public to help themselves’ while there is reduced fire cover.
Essex Fire Brigades Union members, along with colleagues across the country, will be taking industrial action on Monday between 6am and 8am, then later between 5pm and 7pm. The industrial action is part of a national dispute over Government pension reforms.
ECFRS has resilience arrangements in place to ensure fire cover is maintained across the County but the public can play a part in keeping risk to a minimum. People are being urged to ‘Be Safer….Be Slower….Be Vigilant’.
“Fire engines will still be attending emergencies and the public should continue to dial 999 as normal,” said Assistant Chief Fire Officer Paul Hill.
“But anything we can do to reduce the number of non-emergency calls during the strike periods over the weekend will clearly assist us in ensuring our service delivery is directed to those areas where it is most needed.”
In advance of the strike, families are being urged to check their smoke alarms are working. Keep an eye on any vulnerable neighbours, friends and family and help them to check theirs. “If they don’t have one, you still have time to fit one,” said ACFO Hill. “Smoke alarms have proved time and again that they are invaluable life saving devices and with or without industrial action will give people early warning and time to escape a fire.
“In the event of a fire – get out, stay out, call the fire service out.
“We should all know how easily a fire can start and it is a good idea now to pay extra attention to the frequent causes of fire. Though we are issuing this advice now – it is good advice at all times.”
Here are some practical tips to help you keep your home and your family fire safe:
Make sure you know how to get out of your home if there is a fire and that everyone in your home, including visitors, know as well. Plan your escape route. Make sure exits are always kept clear. Keep door and window keys where everyone in the house can find them.
2. EARLY WARNING
Check your smoke alarms now and change the batteries if necessary.
Stub cigarettes out properly and dispose of them carefully. Keep lighters and matches away from children.
Put candles out, using a snuffer or a spoon. It’s safer than blowing them out when sparks can fly.
Double check the cooker is off, after use and before going to bed.
6. ELECTRICAL APPLIANCES
Turn off and unplug electrical appliances, unless they are designed to be left on – like your fridge. Have a ‘fire safe’ night time routine.
7. FIRE SPREAD
Close inside doors at night to stop a fire from spreading.