FIREFIGHTERS are urging people to take extra care to protect themselves and their loved ones from the risks of fire and to stay safe on the roads during industrial action starting today.
Cleveland Fire Brigade issued the warning as firefighters take strike action from 9am tomorrow to 9am on Wednesday in a row over pay and pensions.
The brigade is providing a reduced emergency response service, but is asking for help from its local communities and to only call 999 if they really do need a fire engine.
Ian Hayton, 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 care, whether that be at home, work or on the roads.
“Almost 50 per cent of accidental house fires occur in the kitchen, with the main causes being cooking left unattended and cooker/grill pan fat not being cleaned. The best advice we can give is to always stand by your pan and ensure you don’t get a build-up of fat in your oven or grill pans. Ensuring you have working smoke alarms in your home and checking them every week is an essential part of staying safe.
“We want to keep people safe on the roads so also ensuring your car is roadworthy and maintained at all times, checking washer fluid, tyre pressure and tread depth will help greatly. Careful driving is particularly important at this time of year, which means driving to the conditions of the road and not the speed limits particularly when there is poor visibility. This will greatly reduce the risk of an accident.”
Mr Hayton added: “Our priority during this industrial action period, as with previous ones, is to respond to those priority calls where a life 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.”