RESIDENTS are being urged to take extra care during a firefighters’ strike over the bank holiday weekend.

Dorset Fire and Rescue Service is urging members of the public to be careful on the roads and in outdoor spaces.

Industrial action is planned for Friday, between 12pm and 5pm, Saturday, between 2pm and 2am and on Sunday, from 10am until 3pm.

It is part of an ongoing dispute between The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) and the government over pensions.

Strikes were held last year to protest against plans for a later retirement age, as well as changes to pensions.

Dorset Fire and Rescue Service said it will be providing a reduced emergency response over the period.

Darran Gunter, chief fire officer, said: “While the industrial action is ongoing we will still be responding to 999 calls.

“Our priority will be to respond to those calls where lives may be at risk or someone needs to be rescued.

“If we respond to non-emergency calls then those most in need, could be at risk, so please only ring 999 if a fire engine is really needed.”

He added: “We are urging members of the public to take extra care to reduce the risk of a fire breaking out in their home or on our heathland.

“Fires can start for a variety of reasons, from cooking being left unattended, to electrical faults or careless disposal of cigarettes.

“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.”

Dorset Fire and Rescue will be using predominantly our large proportion of on-call firefighters to crew around 50 per cent of the normal amount of fire engines.

If you do experience a fire call 999 immediately.

For fire safety advice call 01305 252600 or see