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Fireworks caution urged ahead of more firefighters strikes
FIREFIGHTERS are set to stage another set of strikes in their battle with the Government over pensions.
Members of the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) are planning to walk out on Friday (November 1) from 6.30pm to 11pm and on November 4 from 6am to 8am.
The FBU says the Government’s planned changes to pensions and the retirement age will see thousands of firefighters lose their job "simply for getting older".
The union also maintains that firemen and women pay some of the highest pension contributions in the UK at almost 13 per cent of their salary, with further rises due next year.
London Fire Commissioner Ron Dobson said: “As ever we are prepared to deal with further strikes from the Fire Brigades Union.
“Once again we will have 27 fire engines based at strategic points across the capital, ready to deal with emergencies as needed.
“The evening strike date falls on the Friday before Bonfire Night.
“It is just before Diwali and coincides with half term, so people need to be really careful with fireworks and bonfires.
“As always, if you want to see fireworks, it’s safer to go to organised displays than setting off your own and lighting bonfires.
“Simple steps like testing your smoke alarm to check it’s working and keeping a close eye on cooking will help to keep people safe during the strikes.”
The London Fire Brigade is asking people to test their smoke alarms, using #beepbeep on Twitter to let fire chiefs know they’ve done it.
And Kent Fire and Rescue Service’s chief executive Ann Millington said: "We hope the government and union will continue to work towards a solution that avoids any further industrial action.
“KFRS will again be putting contingency plans in place to have fire engines, crewed with staff who are not striking, based at strategic locations to provide the best possible countywide spread.
“In addition, some local fire stations may also remain open if additional firefighters decide nearer the time not to strike.
"If these further periods of strike do go ahead, we will be asking local people to be sensible and make extra safety checks and precautions to help prevent fires in their homes or businesses such as being more vigilant about checking smoke detectors, never leaving cooking unattended, avoiding bonfires, not overloading sockets and making sure children understand that setting outdoor fires could take a fire engine away from a life saving rescue."
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