Suffolk: Safety chiefs urge people to take care as firefighters strike


- Credit: Archant

People are being asked to take extra precautions following the announcement of two fire service strikes, which will take place around the same time as bonfire night celebrations.

Firefighters will walk out between 6.30-11pm tonight and from 6-8am on Monday – there will be a reduced service operating during these times.

About 20 of Suffolk’s 35 fire stations will be available during the strike periods but people enjoying bonfire celebrations and Diwali, the festival of lights, are asked to take care.

Councillor Colin Spence, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for public protection, said: “Given the reduced availability of firefighters and fire appliances during these periods of action and the potential for increased risk created by bonfire and firework events and people using candles, the public are strongly encouraged to be extra vigilant and safety conscious.

“We highly recommend that families attend organised and safely managed public events and that safety advice regarding bonfire and firework safety is reviewed and followed very closely.”

The council has also issued the following advice for people hosting their own celebrations:

• Before you light the bonfire, check that children and animals are a safe distance away

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• Never leave bonfires unattended

• Never light bonfires in unsuitable weather conditions, particularly wind

• Never use flammable liquids to start the fire, and never burn dangerous rubbish such as aerosols

• Have only one person in charge of lighting the fireworks, and use eye protection and gloves

• Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on each firework. Read them by torchlight – never a naked flame

• Light fireworks at arm’s length using a safety firework lighter or fuse wick

• Never go back to a firework once lit

• Keep a bucket of water nearby

• Put used sparklers hot end down into a bucket of sand or water

• Never throw used fireworks on a bonfire