RESIDENTS are being urged to take extra care during planned fire service strikes next week.

Industrial action is planned from 9am for 24 hours next Thursday, and from 10am to 5pm on Saturday, June 21.

Dorset Fire and Rescue Service will be providing a reduced emergency response service but is asking the local community to protect themselves from the risk of fire.

The service will be using on-call firefighters to crew around half of the normal amount of fire engines.

Chief fire officer Darran Gunter 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.”