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Firefighters Strike

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7:02am 14th December 2013


'Twas the strike before Christmas.

Cornwall's fire crews are walking out for the second night running.

It will last from six till ten o'clock on Saturday evening as part of a row over pensions.

Jeff Hick is a fire safety advisor in the Duchy. he gave this advice: "there are a lot of Christmas parties on at this time and people in high spirits. If they see a lot of waste outside of a shop they will potentially try and ignite it and these are the things we want to try and avoid.

"Stub cigarettes out properly, dispose of them carefully, take extra care in the kitchen, don't leave cooking unattended. Try and avoid having bonfires, perhaps avoid any DIY projects which involve naked flames or which could cause sparks."

Cornwall Council said: "Whilst the issue is a matter between the Fire Brigades Union and Government, every Fire and Rescue Service has a legal duty to maintain a level of service to local communities as best it can.

"Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service will continue to respond to 999 calls and will do everything it can to keep the public safe, including during any national fire strike.

"This is a national dispute over firefighter pensions which we do not have the power to resolve at a local level. We have been preparing for the possibility of strike action and we have been sending out prevention messages to advise people how they can help themselves to minimize the risk of a fire.

"Now that strike action has been confirmed, the most important thing to remember is that if you do have a fire, get out of the building, stay out and call 999.

"We will continue to respond to emergency calls and will obviously prioritise those where lives are at risk."

It is issuing the following advice:

Take extra care and time to think about fire safety in your home during this period - checking smoke alarms, ensuring you know what you would do if there was a fire and not making unnecessary calls to the fire and rescue service.

Businesses are reminded to be mindful of their responsibilities, as during periods of strike action the Service may not be able to respond to fire safety enquiries within its usual timescales. It remains the responsibility of employers, landlords and other premises occupiers to comply with fire safety law.

They are also being reminded that emergency escape plans should not rely on Fire and Rescue Service involvement for it to be effective. Any and all actions that are required to keep people safe in the premises, to move them to places of relative safety or to complete a full evacuation must be within your resources.

Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service's advice is to take extra care with these seven  steps:

*If you haven't already got one, install a smoke alarm and test it every week
*Take extra care in the kitchen - this is where most fires start
*Check your electrical appliances - turn them off and don't overload sockets
*If you smoke, put cigarettes out properly
*If you're planning to drink alcohol, arrange how to get home without driving, agree an alcohol free driver, a taxi or public     transport to get home safely
*Sleep safe - check everything in your home every bedtime
*Plan a safe escape - make sure you know how to get out of your home in an emergency

7:02am 14th December 2013

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