Fire service deals with 13 incidents during FBU strike

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: A picket line outside Chippenham Fire Station in May A picket line outside Chippenham Fire Station in May

Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service dealt with 13 incidents during a nine-hour strike by members of the Fire Brigades’ Union (FBU) between 10am and 7pm yesterday.

Of these, nine were false alarms, three were related to bonfires and one was in support of South Western Ambulance Service.

One of the fires involved a hedge and shed in Baydon Close, Trowbridge, which was attended by Bradford on Avon and Corsham crews responding from Melksham, and an unattended campfire in woodland at Bemerton Heath, Salisbury.

The service is now planning for a series of two-hour strikes by the FBU over eight consecutive days, starting from 14 July. Details of these actions are: 

• Monday, July 14 - 6-8am and 5-7pm

• Tuesday, July 15 - 6-8am and 5-7pm

• Wednesday, July 16 - 6-8am and 5-7pm

• Thursday, July 17 - 6-8am and 5-7pm

• Friday, July 18 - 6-8am and 11pm to 1am

• Saturday, July 19 - 11am to 1pm and 11pm to 1am

• Sunday, July 20 - 5-7pm

• Monday, July 21 - 6-8am and 5-7pm

Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service said the following safety tips are useful at any time, but especially during periods of industrial action:

• Always make sure you have working smoke alarms and test them every week.

• If you’re going out, unplug unused electrical items, make sure no sockets are overloaded, close all internal doors and test your smoke alarms.

• Make these checks before you go to bed – and make sure you and anyone else in the property knows how to get out in the event of a fire.

• Avoid leaving cooking unattended, especially if you’ve been drinking or are on medication. If you've been drinking, it's much safer to get a takeaway than to cook while under the influence of alcohol.

• If you smoke, dispose of cigarettes carefully and don’t smoke in bed. Ideally, smoke outside as this reduces the risk of fire. Make sure matches and lighters are kept away from children.

• Be careful if you decide to light candles or tea lights – left unattended, these can easily lead to fires starting.

• With the warm weather, you may decide to have a barbecue – make sure the remaining charcoal is completely cold before throwing the ashes away.

• If you decide to have a bonfire, make sure it is lit well away from fencing, hedging or buildings. Don’t leave it unattended and have a water supply to hand in case the fire starts to spread.

• Drivers should stick to the speed limit and be mindful of the conditions – it’s better to get there a few minutes late than not at all.

• If you do have a fire during the strike period, get out, stay out, call 999 – the Fire & Rescue Service will respond.

In addition, businesses are reminded to check their fire risk assessments and ensure that staff members working over any of the strike periods are fully briefed on what to do if an emergency happens.

For more safety advice for homes and businesses, visit www.wiltsfire.gov.uk 

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