Essex County Fire and Rescue Service

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Take extra care during FBU strike

Fire Brigades Union members are set to take strike action over the weekend of June 13 and 14, 2015.  Specific times for the strike action are yet to be set by the union.

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 will once again have strong resilience arrangements in place to protect the County with working crews providing cover. You can help us to help you in the run up to the strike by making sure your home is fitted with a working smoke alarm and make sure you check on elderly and vulnerable members of your family and neighbourhood to make sure they have one too.

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 period 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:

1. ESCAPE

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.

3. SMOKING

Stub cigarettes out properly and dispose of them carefully. Keep lighters and matches away from children.

4. CANDLES

Put candles out, using a snuffer or a spoon. It’s safer than blowing them out when sparks can fly.

5. COOKING

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.

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