East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service is urging party goers to take extra care as members of the Fire Brigades Union prepare to strike on New Year’s Eve.
FBU members will walk out between 18.30pm on New Year's Eve and 00.30am on New Year’s Day in their continuing national dispute with the Government over pensions. A further strike will take place between 6.30am and 8.30am on Friday 3rd January.
Chief Fire Officer and Chief Executive Des Prichard said: “While emergency cover will again be provided firefighters and officers who are not members of the FBU, we are preparing for a busy night. We need help from members of the public to make sure that crews are not called out unnecessarily and are free to respond to real emergencies. Priority will be given to incidents where lives may be at risk.
“The timing of the strike has given us an additional challenge, but we are ready to respond. If you have a fire, get out, stay out and dial 999.”
How you can help
If you are going out - make a clear choice between drinking or driving and plan how you are going to get home. If you are planning a big night out, remember that you can still be over the limit on the morning after so don't assume you are safe to drive. It’s a good idea to avoid cooking after you get home from the pub or club as more than half of accidental house fires start in the kitchen. A takeaway or cold snack is your safest option.
If you are celebrating at home - make sure that you take extra care in the kitchen and don't get distracted by your guests. Remember to switch off Christmas lights and snuff out candles before you go to bed. Cigarettes and cigars should be stubbed out and disposed of carefully. Make sure you have a working smoke alarm on each floor of your house and make sure that you and your guests know how to get out safely in an emergency. Please don't take any additional risks, such as having fireworks displays or lighting open fires when you haven't had you chimney checked recently.
Further advice on staying safe during the industrial action is available on our website.
The recent storms have highlighted how destructive wind and rain can be. If you have any outside decorations at your home or business, please ensure they are secure or consider removing them. If water levels are already high in your area and you may be at risk of flooding, think about buying sandbags, move valuables or items of sentimental importance from the ground floor of your home and work out a plan of action if you do need to leave your home in a hurry.
The Get Ready for Winter website has regular updates and plenty of advice.
There are a number of organisations which can be contacted if you have a problem which does not require an emergency response. Many of these are also on Facebook and Twitter or have apps you can download to make it easier to keep up to date while on the move.
Dial 101 when it is less urgent than 999
Sussex Police began their drink-drive crackdown at the start of December and have already charged more than fifty people. You can text officers on 65999 with the details of people you suspect of drink or drug driving, along with their car make and registration number. To report anyone driving antisocially visit www.operationcrackdown.co.uk. If you know someone is driving after drinking or taking drugs call 999.
For flood alerts or call Floodline number 0845 988 1188 (24 hour service)
East Sussex County Council
For problems on the roads: please ring the Highways Contact Centre on 0345 60 80 193 and leave a message or email email@example.com
For out-of-hours emergencies affecting the roads in East Sussex, other than traffic accidents, please call our emergency out of hours service on 01323 644422.
Brighton and Hove City Council
To report fallen trees or debris on roads or pavements, please call 01273 292929 during office hours. For environmental emergencies out of office hours, call 01273 292229.
Local Borough or District Councils
District and borough council websites