People in Northampton are being advised to reduce the risk of fire in their home ahead of a four-hour strike by firefighters next Wednesday.
The Fire Brigades Union has announced that firefighters will take action between noon–4pm on September 25 as a result of a dispute over changes to their pensions.
A statement released by the county council said it was a “testing time” for the UK Fire and Rescue Service, but said the county council and fire service were taking every precaution to ensure disruption was kept to a minimum.
Residents of Northampton are being encouraged to reduce the risk of fire by testing their smoke alarms, taking extra care in their kitchen, check electrics, unplugging and switching off everything before they go to bed and planning an escape route out of the house in case of emergency.
Station manager Warren Ellison said: “This is good advice for everyone to follow at all times, and is even more important during the coming weeks and months.
“We have contingency plans in place and will be continuing to respond to emergencies, but this is a testing time for fire and rescue services across the country so anything that can be done to reduce the risk of fire is definitely a good idea.
“Resources will be stretched so we would also like to remind people that as always, only call 999 in an emergency.”
It is belived that a mixture of retained firefighters and crew members who do not choose to go on strike will be used to provide emergency cover for the county during the strike.
Councillor André Gonzalez de Savage (Con, East Hunsbury), county council cabinet member for public protection, said: “I would like to reassure everyone that robust contingency plans are in place, and we will make every effort to ensure any disruption is minimised so that we can continue to protect our local communities.”