Public urged to check fire safety measures ahead of four-day strike by firefighters

People living and working in the Avon Fire & Rescue Service (AF&RS) area are being urged to take extra care to prevent fires and other emergencies following the announcement of a 96-hour strike by firefighters.

In an on-going dispute with the Government over pensions, Fire Brigades’ Union (FBU) members will stage a walkout from 18.00hrs on Friday 31 October until 18.00hrs on Tuesday 4 November.

During the strikes a skeleton service will operate from six strategic locations across the AF&RS area. Fire cover will be provided by firefighters who are not part of the FBU working alongside auxiliary firefighters who have received training to provide basic support. 

Due to the reduced emergency service, members of the public are advised to expect longer response times as calls will be prioritised towards those where there is a risk to life.

Assistant Chief Fire Officer Rob Davis said: “Although we have resilience plans in place during the strike, they are not a direct replacement for the service we normally provide. 

“I would urge everyone to make every effort to reduce the risk of a fire starting in their home or business as we may take longer to reach you. 

“Simple things like ensuring you do not leave cooking unattended, making sure you check your smoke alarms and rehearsing escape routes with your family will certainly help you stay safer.”

This period of industrial action will coincide with a weekend when people may be celebrating Bonfire Night. Avon Fire & Rescue Service’s advice is always to attend an organised display as this is the safest way to enjoy fireworks. 

ACFO Davis added: “During the Halloween weekend there is often an increase in antisocial behaviour, which may include deliberately started fires. Where possible people should take steps to ensure the outside of their property is kept clear from garden waste or rubbish as this can be a potential target for arsonists.

“Business owners and managers should also check their own fire risk assessments.”

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