People living and working across the Bath area are once again being urged to take extra care to prevent fires and other emergencies during two upcoming strikes by firefighters.
In an on-going dispute with the Government over pensions, the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has announced a further two walkouts in June.
The first strike will take place on Thursday 12th June for 24 hours from 9am.
This will be followed by a second strike on Saturday 21st June from 10am to 5pm.
During the strikes, a skeleton service will operate from six strategic locations across the Avon Fire & Rescue Service area.
Fire cover will be provided in the main by firefighters who are not part of the FBU. They will work alongside a number of auxiliary firefighters who have received training to provide basic support to fully qualified crews.
Due to the reduced service AF&RS will be prioritising calls to emergencies where there is a risk to life.
Chief Fire Officer Kevin Pearson said: “This is a national dispute over which Avon Fire Authority has no power to resolve. Although we have contingency arrangements in place, the reality is we will not be in a position to provide the excellent emergency response we usually do.
“In the lead up to and during the strikes I would ask local people to take steps to ensure their homes and businesses are as safe as possible. Although it’s good practice anytime, it’s particularly important during a period when our emergency response capability will be reduced.
“Accidents do happen but it is possible to reduce the risk and the impact of a fire in the home by taking extra care not to leave cooking unattended, making sure you check smoke alarms are working and rehearsing escape routes with the whole family.
“During the strike 999 calls will be answered in the normal way as Control staff are not involved in the action. Although we will be prioritising calls our advice remains the same – if you have a fire you should get out, stay out and call 999.”