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Residents urged to take care during Christmas Eve strike

20 December 2013

Humberside Fire and Rescue Service is warning householders to be more vigilant than normal to ensure communities stay safe during industrial action due to take place this Christmas.

Fire Brigades Union members will take industrial action on Christmas Eve between 19:00hrs and midnight and on New Year’s Eve between 18:30hrs and 00:30hrs. There will be a further strike on Friday 3 January between 06:30hrs and 08:30hrs. The Service will be providing a reduced emergency response service during those times.

Deputy Chief Fire Officer Dene Sanders said: “We always warn people to take care because it is far better to avoid problems happening in the first place. This message is more important than ever during strike periods because while we will still be responding to 999 calls, the level of service will be reduced.”

The warning comes as at Christmas many people cook more than normal which can increase the risk of a fire in the home.

“This is the time of year when people have family and friends over and it is easy to get distracted while preparing a meal. I urge people to take extra care in the kitchen as most cooking related fire happen when people leave cooking unattended or forget they have something on the hob, this even more important on Christmas Eve when there will l be fewer firefighters at work due the strike.

“The Service continues to be tested by this national dispute but we are continually assessing and reviewing our contingency plans so that the best possible service can be delivered to the community. We will continue to provide an adequate service during strike action but I urge residents to take steps themselves to help reduce the risk of an incident occurring,” Dene continued.

The Service advises residents to make sure there is a working smoke alarm installed on every level of their home as, should a fire break out, smoke alarms provide an early warning which gives time to escape and may also mean a fire may be detected before it has chance to spread. Smoke alarms should be tested weekly.

Recommended ways to ensure fire safety in the home during the festive period include:

Take extra care in the kitchen and never leave cooking unattended.

Make sure grill pans and oven trays are regularly cleaned as fat build up can catch fire when hot.

Make sure decorative lights have a British Safety Standard sign.

Don’t leave decorative lights on after bed time or when the home is unoccupied.

Don’t overload electrical sockets.

Keep paper or card decorations away from fireplaces and don’t attach them to light fittings or heaters.

Keep children away from candles and matches.

Make sure visitors know how to escape in an emergency.

Stub cigarettes out properly and dispose of them carefully. Put them out. Right out.

Close all internal doors before going to bed, this will prevent a fire from spreading should one break out.

If you do have a fire, get out of the house, stay out and call 999.

For more fire safety advice and tips on how to protect your home from fire visit www.humbersidefire.gov.uk, follow us on Facebook and Twitter or visit www.gov.uk/firekills.