Cornish firefighters will take part in strike action and "action short of a strike" over the May bank holiday weekend, is has been confirmed.
Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service is urging everyone to be fire and road safety aware during the strike action on May 2, 3 and 4.
The FBU has announced the following dates and time for strike action
• May 2, 2014 from 12pm to 5pm
• May 3, 2014 from 2pm to 2am (4 May)
• May 4, 2014 from 10am to 3pm
In addition to the strike action, the FBU have announced "action short of strike action" from May 4, 2014 at 3.01pm until 12pm on May 9.
This will be a refusal by fire service personnel to undertake voluntary overtime, non-contractual overtime or voluntary additional hours.
CFRS deputy chief fire officer Paul Walker said: “We have contingency plans in place to maintain minimum levels of cover during the strike action. The most important thing to remember is that if you do have a fire, get out of the building, stay out and call 999 – you will get an emergency response.
"We will continue to respond to emergency calls and will obviously prioritise those where lives are at risk. Public and fire fighter safety remains of paramount importance and we will give the best service to the people of Cornwall within the limitations of the resources available to us.
"This series of dates of strike action will again impact on how we deliver a fire and rescue service to the people of Cornwall. During the previous periods of strike action, the conduct of all of our staff, both those taking action and those working, was exemplary throughout and I expect that the same will apply this time.
"My message to residents, businesses and visitors is to remain vigilant. A part of the work carried out by the fire service includes attending road traffic collisions so I especially want to appeal to people who may be out and about enjoying the bank holiday weekend to take extra care.
“I’m also asking businesses to take extra care when either closing for the Bank Holiday, or those open for business over this period given the high volume of visitors expected. We encourage businesses to take note of our top tips for keeping businesses safe from fire.”
Thee tips are:
• Be safety conscious when you carry out all checks at closing time
• Make sure your alarm systems are set before you leave
• Keep all fire escapes and entrances clear
• Switch off electrical appliances at the plug when not in use
• Avoid putting flammable waste out on the day
• Don’t store flammable goods under stairs or in enclosed spaces
• Keep smoking areas free of waste and empty ash trays
• Keep areas tidy and free from clutter
• Make sure your staff know what to do in the event of a fire
• Check your fire safety risk assessment Businesses are also reminded to be mindful of their responsibilities as during periods of strike action the Fire Service may not be able to respond to fire safety enquiries within its usual timescales. It remains the responsibility of employers, landlords and other premises occupiers to comply with fire safety law.
Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service's advice to householders is to make preparations and take extra care with these seven steps:
• Make sure you have smoke alarms on at least every level of your home.
• Smoke alarms save lives, but only if they’re working. Test them regularly.
• Stub cigarettes out properly and dispose of them carefully.
• Plan your escape route and make sure everyone knows how to get out in a fire.
• Take extra care in the kitchen and never leave cooking unattended.
• Do not overload electrical sockets. Watch out for faulty and over-heating electrical equipment, and wiring/cables.
• Drinking alcohol? Plan how to get home safely without driving.
Paul added: “I would urge everyone to take extra care and time to think about fire safety in their home during this period - check smoke alarms; ensure you know what you would do if there is a fire and do not make unnecessary calls to the fire and rescue service.
Prevention advice and guidance is available for businesses and residents on the Council’s website www.cornwall.gov.uk/fire.