By Martin Walker
A leading firefighter says the latest series of strikes by the FBU over the early May Bank Holiday weekend pose “significant” risks.
The Fire Brigades’ Union (FBU) has announced plans to strike on Friday 2nd May (12-5pm), Saturday 3rd May (2pm-2am) and Sunday 4th May (10am-3pm).
The planned industrial action is in relation to the FBU’s national dispute over pensions with central government.
County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service says it will continue to raise awareness of fire and other risks within the local community and with businesses across its region.
But deputy chief fire officer Stuart Errington says the latest round of strikes have come at a sensitive time.
“These strike dates will be challenging for fire services across the country as they are set to take place over the early May bank holiday weekend when people will be travelling to visit friends and family and entertaining at home, perhaps cooking more than usual,” he said.
“As 60 per cent of fires in the home start in the kitchen this is a significant risk.
“We will be following tried and tested plans to provide a professional response in the event of a fire or other emergency during strike action on these most recently announced strike dates.
“We would advise people to take extra care and follow some simple steps to reduce the risk of fire.
“One of the most important actions that everyone can take is to make sure that there are working smoke alarms fitted on each level of their property.
“These alarms can mean the difference between life and death.”