Residents are urged to take extra care during the two national Fire Brigades Union strikes planned for this Friday, 1 November and Monday 4 November.
The strikes will take place from 6.30pm to 11pm on Friday and from 6am to 8am on Monday. During these two periods there will be fewer firefighters on duty across the country including Hertfordshire.
Councillor Richard Thake, Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Planning, said: “We are extremely disappointed that the Fire Brigades Union has announced two further strikes and it’s important that people are vigilant and take extra care during the walkouts.
“Although there will be fewer resources, we have planned for this and have put in place contingency plans. In the event that the strike action does go ahead we will be responding as quickly as possible to serious incidents. In the event of a fire you should still get out, stay out, and call 999 – you will get an emergency response.”
Roy Wilsher, Director of Community Protection and Chief Fire Officer, said: “It’s unlikely that you will be involved in a fire or accident but we do want to urge people to be extra cautious during the strikes. Safety needs to be everyone’s priority; there will be celebrations taking place for Halloween, bonfire night and Diwali this week and over the weekend so it's particularly important to take extra care. If you are planning on taking part in the celebrations make sure you only buy fireworks from a registered trader and follow the instructions carefully for each firework. Do not leave candles unattended and supervise children and teenagers at all times and stand well back from any fireworks display.
“For those who will be driving to work or dropping children off at school on Monday during the strike action, remember to watch your speed and look out for hazards and other road users.”
Here is some more safety advice to help you and your family stay safe during the strikes:
Firework safety rules
• Light sparklers one at a time and wear gloves
• Never give sparklers to a child under five
• Only buy fireworks marked BS 7114 or CE marked
• Keep fireworks in a closed box
• Light fireworks at arm's length using a taper
• Stand well back from firework displays
• Never go back to a lit firework
• Never put fireworks in your pocket
• Never throw fireworks
In your home
• Check your smoke alarm is working. Do the same for any elderly or vulnerable neighbours or family
• Plan your escape route and make sure everyone knows how to get out
• Avoid lighting candles
• Don’t leave cigarettes burning
• Unplug any electrical items you’re not using
• Switch off portable heaters when you leave the room
• Don’t leave hot pans unattended, especially chip pans
Out and about
• When driving, watch your speed and keep your distance, especially in bad weather
• If you’re riding a bike or motorcycle, check you’ve got all the right safety gear and that you’re clearly visible to other road users
• Pedestrians should cross the road at the safest place possible, such as zebra, pelican, puffin and other patrolled crossings
• Look out for hazards and other road users
• Check your vehicle and make sure your brakes, tyres, lights, wipers and washers are all working and in good condition.
At work and school
• Turn off all lights and equipment that do not need to be left on
• Check fire extinguishers are correctly sited and are serviced
• Make sure everyone knows how to evacuate quickly and safely
There is more fire prevention and road safety advice available elsewhere on our website at www.hertsdirect.org/firestrike
If you want to speak to someone about fire prevention please call 0300 123 4046.
IN THE EVENT OF AN EMERGENCY ALWAYS CALL 999