Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Take care at work, in the home and on the move

East Sussex Fire and Rescue is asking people living, working or visiting East Sussex and Brighton and Hove to take extra care amid further strike action.

Members of the Fire Brigades Union will walk out on Wednesday 13th November between 10.00 and 14.00.  This is the fourth strike in their dispute with the Government over pensions.

Our emergency cover plans during the strike remain the same. Crews made up of non-FBU members and retained firefighters will respond to emergencies - giving priority to those where lives are at risk.

Chief Fire Officer and Chief Executive Des Prichard said: “During the previous strikes, we attended only a small number of emergencies.  Our advice to members of the public remains the same. If you have a fire, get out, stay out and dial 999.”

As the next strike happens during working hours, we are particularly keen to remind people about how to stay safe in their workplace and the responsibilities of businesses.

Employers should be aware of their fire safety responsibilities, including the need to have a fire risk assessment, adequate fire safety measures in place and an emergency plan. We wrote to businesses and organisations in East Sussex and Brighton and Hove about this in September when the FBU first announced industrial action.  

Employees also have a responsibility to tell their employer of any risks in the workplace and they must know what to do in an emergency. This includes what to do when they discover a fire and how to get out of the building.

We are also asking people who may be at home during the strike to take extra care and follow our simple fire safety advice:

  • Fit smoke alarms on each floor in your home, keep them dust-free, and test them once a week. Consider buying a ten-year alarm; otherwise change the batteries every year. 
  • Take special care when you are tired or when you've been drinking. Most domestic fires happen between 10pm and 8am. 
  • Make an escape plan so that everyone in your home knows how to escape in the event of a fire. 
  • Keep the exits from your home clear of obstructions so that people can make their escape if there is a fire. Make sure that occupants can find keys for doors and windows easily. 
  • Take care in the kitchen - accidents while cooking account for 59% of fires in the home. Never leave young children unsupervised in the kitchen. 
  • Take extra care when cooking with hot oil; if you don't use one already, consider buying an electric thermostatically controlled deep fat fryer. 
  • Never leave lit candles unattended and ensure that they are in a secure holder on a heat-resistant surface away from flammable materials. 
  • Don't overload electrical sockets. Remember one socket - one plug.
  • Keep matches and lighters out of reach of children. 
  • Don't leave the TV or other electrical appliances on standby as this could cause a fire. Always switch it off and unplug it when not in use. 
  • Ensure cigarettes are stubbed out and disposed of carefully and never smoke in bed.

The shorter days and winter weather also mean that we need to take extra care on the roads by driving according to the road conditions, wearing a seatbelt and making sure that key components on your car, including tyres, lights and wipers, are in good working order.

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