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Dorset firefighters to strike over Christmas period
DORSET Fire and Rescue Service is urging members of the public to take extra care when firefighters strike over the new year.
Further industrial action is planned for New Year’s Eve between 6.30pm and 12.30am and on Friday, January 3 between 6.30am and 8.30am.
Fire chiefs said a reduced emergency response service will be provided and urged people to take extra care.
Members of the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) in England and Wales are set to take action in a dispute over pensions.
Scottish firefighters voted against a strike but will operate an overtime ban in support.
This will be the seventh strike since September and the union says the government is refusing to honour agreements over pension arrangements.
Darran Gunter, chief fire officer, said: “While the industrial action is ongoing we will still be responding to 999 calls, but we are asking members of the public to take extra steps during the festive period, to reduce the risk of a fire breaking out in their home.
“At this time of year, the home can be full of fire hazards from decorations to cooking.
“The best advice we can give is for everyone to ensure they have a smoke alarm in their home and to check the battery is working at least once a week.
“Smoke detectors provide an early warning of a fire and can give occupants vital extra minutes to escape, especially at night.
“But a smoke alarm can only save your life if it is working and the battery is checked regularly.”
He added: “With family and friends visiting your home over the festive season too, it’s really important to ensure everyone knows how to escape in the event of a fire.
“Having an escape plan and making sure everyone staying in the house knows it might not be the most interesting topic of conversation this Christmas, but it could save lives.”
More than 50 per cent of fires in the home, attended by Dorset Fire and Rescue Service in the last year, started in the kitchen.
People are asked to take particular care when cooking.
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