Essex County Fire and Rescue Service


Stay safe during the four day strike

With UK firefighters set to strike over four days between Friday October 31 and Tuesday November 4, 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 and asked them to attend organised firework displays instead of hosting their own firework parties next weekend.

Essex Fire Brigades Union members, along with colleagues across the country, will be taking industrial action starting at 6pm on Friday October 31 and ending at 6pm on Tuesday November 4. 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’.

With the strike being held the weekend before Bonfire Night the Service is urging people to go to organised displays rather than holding firework p[arties in their gardens

“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 period over the weekend will clearly assist us in ensuring our service delivery is directed to those areas where it is most needed.

"We want to make sure that everyone can celebrate Halloween and Bonfire Night in safety. By far the best way to do this is to attend an organised firework display. These displays are not only safer they are also usually bigger and better than any back garden firework party. 

"We always urge people to be extra cautious during strike periods and this time we believe the best way to do that is to attend a properly organised firework display."

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, especially on a weekend when we expect to see a large number of Bonfire Night events, but a little planning and a little bit of extra caution by the public mean that we can help everyone stay safe during the four day strike period."

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