20 December 2013

Following announcements of further industrial action during the Christmas and New Year period, Northamptonshire County Council’s fire and rescue service is reminding residents how to reduce the risk of fire in the home.

When is the industrial action taking place?

As a result of the on-going national dispute with the government, the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has announced that they intend to take further industrial action on

  • Tuesday 24 December 2013, between 7pm and 12am
  • Tuesday 31 December 2013, between 6.30pm and 12.30am on 1 January 2014
  • Friday 3 January 2014, between 6.30am and 8.30am

Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service has contingency plans in place to ensure disruption is kept to a minimum. Planning has continued for several months, both within the service and in partnership with neighbouring authorities, to ensure it can continue to respond to emergencies during this time.

What you can do to avoid a fire

Residents are also reminded that there are a few simple steps they can follow to reduce the risk of fire in the home:

  1. Protect your home with working smoke alarms, install smoke alarms on every floor and test them every week. Never take batteries out of smoke alarms for those Christmas toys and games.
  2. Take extra care in the kitchen as over 50% of accidental house fires start in the kitchen.
  3. Check your electrics, check and maintain your appliances, cables and plugs.
  4. If you smoke, make sure you put them out, right out.
  5. Make sure you all sleep safe - have a bedtime routine of unplugging and switching off before closing doors on your way to bed.
  6. Plan a safe escape and make sure everyone in your home knows how to get out in an emergency.
  7. Please make sure that all Christmas decorations are safe and in compliance with relevant standards.
  8. Don’t leave candles unattended and always make sure they are out and the tree lights are off when you leave the house. Don’t leave children alone with candles.
  9. Please bear in mind alcohol does impair the perception of risk – especially when cooking the Christmas dinner. Please enjoy a happy and safe festive season.

Head of community services Mark Ainge said: “This is good advice for everyone to follow at all times.

“We have contingency plans in place and will be continuing to respond to emergencies, but this is a testing time for fire and rescue services across the country so anything that can be done to reduce the risk of fire is definitely a good idea.

“Resources may be stretched so we would also like to remind people that as always, only call 999 in an emergency.”

For more advice about how to reduce the risks of fire, people can visit www.northamptonshire.gov.uk/fire

They can also follow the Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service Twitter account @northantsfire and Like the Facebook page www.facebook.com/northantsfire.