Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Public and businesses urged to plan ahead for next Fire Brigades Union strike

East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service wants members of the public and businesses to plan ahead as it prepares for the next Fire Brigades Union strike over pensions.

Cover will be reduced during the seven hour walk out which begins at 10am on Saturday 21 June 2014.

Chief Fire Officer and Chief Executive Des Prichard said: “Our advice remains the same – if you have a fire get out, stay out and call 999. We will prioritise calls where lives may be in danger.

We know that people have been taking extra care during previous strike periods. We are grateful for this and hope it continues.

There are things you can do now ahead of the strike to help yourselves and keep friends and family safe.

First of all – fit and regularly test smoke alarms, to give you an early warning.  Think about how you would get out of buildings if there was a fire. If you are a business, remember that there could be people who are unfamiliar with your routines – whether staff or visitors.

In short - make sure everyone under your roof knows what to do just in case.”

Planning a safe escape

· Plan an escape route and make sure everyone knows what to do.

· Make sure exits are kept clear – move anything blocking your exit.

· Think of a second route in case the first one is blocked.

· Take a few minutes to practise your escape plan, especially with little ones.

· Review your plan, if the layout of your home changes.

· Keep door and window keys where everyone can find them.

What to do if your escape is blocked

· If you can’t get out, get everyone into one room, ideally with a window and a phone.

· Put bedding around the bottom of the door to block out the smoke, then open the window and call “HELP FIRE”.

· If you’re on the ground or first floor, you may be able to escape through a window.

· Use bedding to cushion your fall and lower yourself down carefully. Don’t jump.

· If you can’t open the window, break the glass in the bottom corner. Make jagged edges safe with a towel or blanket.

What to do in a high rise building

· Remember that high-rise flats are built to be fire-resistant- walls, ceilings and doors should hold back flames and smoke for a period of time.

· If there's a fire elsewhere in the building, you are usually safest in your own flat, unless heat or smoke is affecting you.

· Your stairway is designed to be safe for escape throughout the course of a fire. Always use the stairway to descend to ground level if escaping.

For more information please go to www.esfrs.org

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