July 29 2014 Latest news:
Thursday, June 12, 2014
A national 24-hour fire strike will start at 9am this morning, coinciding with the start of the World Cup.
Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service said steps have been taken to provide a level of fire cover in Norfolk, but warned that this is likely to be reduced.
The London Fire Brigade called on people to order takeaways rather than cook late night meals, especially if they have been drinking, and said there was an increase in house fires during the last World Cup with a total of 620 during the month-long tournament - half in kitchens.
FBU general secretary Matt Wrack accused the government of refusing to negotiate over the controversial pension reforms, adding that firefighters were determined to continue with their campaign.
The union has warned that firefighters face big cuts in their pensions and working until later in life before retiring.
TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “It is regrettable that the Government is still not listening to its own advice or the concerns of firefighters, and is set on imposing these ill-thought out pension changes.
“Firefighters do incredibly dangerous and demanding jobs. The public - which has nothing but the utmost respect for our emergency services - will be at a loss to understand why ministers think that at 60 firefighters will still have the necessary strength and stamina to rescue people from burning buildings.”
A spokesman for the Department for Communities and Local Government said: “The deal on the table is fair and gives firefighters one of the most generous pensions in the public sector. Additionally, the proposals protect the earned rights of a higher proportion of members than any other public sector scheme.
“Nearly three-quarters will see no change in their pension age in 2015. Under the new scheme, a firefighter who earns £29,000 will still be able to retire after a full career aged 60, get a £19,000-a-year pension, rising to £26,000 with the state pension.”
Fire safety advice during the strike
The 999/112 system will continue to operate as normal, but during the strike could have the following effects:
• Fire Brigade attendance times to some incidents will increase
• Only a contingency level of service will be available
• Crews attending may not be familiar with premises or the local geography
The fire service repeated key fire prevention messages:
• Make sure you have working smoke alarms in your home.
• Test your smoke alarms regularly.
• Never leave lit candles or cooking unattended.
• Put cigarettes out – right out.
• Plan your escape route – and make sure all your family know it.
• Make sure you don’t overload electrical sockets and watch out for faulty electrical equipment.
• Be sensible when using BBQs and lighting any fires outdoors – avoid bonfires.
• Treat all flammable materials with care – both using and storing them.
• If you plan to use fireworks please look at our guidance here.
It also repeated key messages to businesses:
• Review your fire risk assessment and make sure it is current.
• Ask staff to be vigilant to the risk of fire and report any concerns.
• Check your fire detection system is working effectively and ensure everyone in the building understands what they need to do should it activate.
• Make sure fire fighting equipment works and everyone expected to use it knows how to do so safely.
• Make sure fire evacuation plans are in place and employees know what to do.
• Keep escape routes free from obstacles.Keep fire doors shut.
• Reduce fire hazards - keep sources of ignition away from flammable materials or substances.
• Avoid arson risks, such as rubbish left around.
• Delay activities if they have an increased risk of fire associated with them (e.g. hot cutting or hot works).