The Fire Brigades Union has announced further strike dates in a dispute with the Government over pension reforms. The dates are: 24 December 19:00hrs 12:00 midnight 31 December 18:30hrs 1 January 00.30 3 January 2014 06:30hrs 08:30hrs The issue continues to remain a matter between the Fire Brigades Union and Government. It is important that the public recognise this will have an impact on our normal arrangements during the periods of dispute. However, Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service has substantial contingency plans in place to ensure that we will continue to respond to emergency incidents. Chief Fire Officer for Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service, Lee Howell, said: Fire and Rescue Services have contingency plans and ours will again be put into place ahead of these dates for industrial action over the festive period. Our plans have worked well during the previous periods of action, but we are asking the public to help us again by taking extra care during the festive period. We will continue to respond to 999 calls and do everything we can to keep the public safe.Phil Martin, Head of Community Fire Safety for the Service, said: âYou can help us again by taking extra care and time to think about fire safety in your home during this period - checking smoke alarms, ensuring you know what you would do if there was a fire and not making unnecessary calls to the fire and rescue service. For further information on Industrial Action and FAQs please visit Industrial action and frequently asked questions. Businesses are also reminded to be mindful of their responsibilities - it remains the responsibility of employers, landlords and other premises occupiers to comply with fire safety law. Advice for businesses Take extra care by following our festive safety tips over Christmas and New Year: 1. Check your Christmas tree lights are in good working order and conform to the British Safety Standard. Never overload electrical sockets. 2. Always switch off your Christmas lights before you go to bed or go out. 3. Never place lit candles near your Christmas tree, decorations or furnishings and never leave a burning candle unattended. 4. Decorations can burn easily - donât attach them to lights or heaters 5. Keep matches, lighters and candles out of childrenâs reach. 6. The risks of accidents, especially in the kitchen, are greater after alcohol is consumed - take care if youâre having a few festive drinks. 7. Never leave your Christmas dinner cooking unattended and make sure you switch off the oven and hob if you're leaving the house. 8. Make sure that any visitors who are staying with you over the festive period know what to do in the event of an emergency and practice your escape plan. Remember to tell them where you keep door/window keys so they can escape safely if a fire starts. 9. Many fires start when people fall asleep whilst smoking, ensure you extinguish cigarettes properly and never smoke in bed. 10. If you are planning on celebrating with fireworks, store them in a metal box, read the instructions and never go back to a lit firework. 11. Remember to test your smoke alarm every week and use Christmas as a reminder to clean it and remove dust. 12. This Christmas take the time to check on elderly relatives and neighbours and make sure they are fire safe. Find more safety advice at www.dsfire.gov.uk.
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