Suffolk/Essex: Residents urged to take extra care during firefighters’ strike

Essex fire engines

Essex fire engines - Credit: Archant

The fire service in Suffolk and Essex is urging residents to take extra care during this evening’s four and a half hour strike, which began at 6.30pm.

Although a reduced service is being offered in both counties throughout the Fire Brigade Union’s planned industrial action, people have been warned to be especially vigilant, particularly if celebrating Bonfire Night or Diwali.

Essex Fire and Rescue Service’s chief fire officer Mark Hardingham, said: “In my experience, it is much safer for people to attend an organised fireworks display than to set off your own fireworks and light bonfires in the garden at home.

“We discourage the use of paper lanterns as these can set fire to thatched buildings and other combustibles and they can hurt farm animals”.

“Simple steps, like testing your smoke alarm to check it is working, and keeping a close eye on candles and naked flames, will help to keep people safe during the strikes.

“This year our advice is for people to attend an organised fireworks display as opposed to setting off fireworks at home”.

Friday night drinkers have also been urged not to attempt any late night cooking.

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“If you’re out having a drink, remember that alcohol and cooking don’t mix - grab a kebab on your way home,” a spokesman advised.

The service in Essex had dealt with three incidents in the first hour of the strike.