Thursday, 12 December 2013

Celebrate safely as further strike action planned

Whether you are planning a festive tipple with friends, baking for Christmas or putting up the decorations, take extra care this weekend as members of the Fire Brigades Union are planning two further strikes.

FBU members will walk out on the following dates and times in their ongoing dispute with the Government over pensions.
  • 18.00 – 22.00 – Friday 13th December
  • 18.00 – 22.00 – Saturday 14th December
Although East Sussex Fire and Rescue will continue to respond to emergencies during the strike, cover will be reduced and we will prioritise incidents where lives are in danger. Our message to members of the public remains the same. If you have a fire, get out, stay out and dial 999.

Chief Fire Officer and Chief Executive Des Prichard said: “The latest strike comes at a time when many people will be relaxing, making preparations and getting into the Christmas spirit. While it’s a fun time of year, we need members of the public to remain vigilant and help us to prevent incidents so that we can direct our resources to where they are most needed.”

You should take extra care and in the following areas:
  • Driving – if you are going out for the evening, make a clear choice between drinking or driving. Plan how you are going to get home in advance and leave the car keys at home if you plan to drink. If you are sober and out on the roads, drive according to the road conditions and wear a seatbelt - you are 50% more likely to be killed or seriously injured if you are not wearing one.
  • Cooking – more than half of accidental fires at home are started by cooking. Take extra care if you are cooking the family meal or prepping the Christmas cake, never leave pans unattended and make sure you switch the hob off when you’ve finished. Keep tea towels and loose clothing away from the cooker and hob. Remember that drinking alcohol can put you at even greater risk in the kitchen.
  • Decorations – decorations and Christmas lights can present an additional fire hazard. Take extra care if you are putting them up this weekend and follow the advice on our website. You should be extra careful with candles and never leave them unattended. Make sure that you have a smoke alarm fitted on each floor in your home and test it regularly to ensure it works.
Further fire safety advice for homeowners is available at

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