FIRE chiefs are urging people in Burton and South Derbyshire to be vigilant ahead of further Fire Brigades Union (FBU) strikes which are planned for two of the busiest social nights of the year.
The FBU has called industrial action from 7pm to midnight tonight and 6.30pm on New Year’s Eve to 12.30am on New Year’s Day.
Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service chief fire officer Peter Dartford urged revellers to be extra careful whether they are going out to pubs or clubs or socialising at home with family and friends.
He said: It will not be business as usual during any of the strikes and there will be limited resources available on what are traditionally two of the busiest nights of the year in our town centres.
I would encourage partygoers to look after themselves and each other when they are out socialising.
“Likewise, those who are planning to stay at home and enjoy a few alcoholic drinks with family and friends need to be aware of the risks of having one too many and then cooking.
“More than half of fires in the home are caused by cooking accidents – don’t put yourself in danger.
“A lot of people light festive candles at this time of year but if they are put too close to festive decorations or are left unattended they can easily cause a house fire.
“We want our communities to have fun over the festive period and by using common sense, everyone can have a safe and happy Christmas and a healthy new year.”
Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service manager area manager Gavin Tomlinson said: ““I would urge all business owners and managers to ensure the safety of their staff and customers is of paramount importance during the industrial action and do everything in their power on the run up to this period, to mitigate the risk of any incidents from occurring during the strike times.”
There will be an additional strike from 6.30am to 8.30am on Friday, January 3.
There have already been six periods of industrial action as well as one that was cancelled.
The FBU voted to strike in a dispute with the government over pensions.