Firefighters in Essex are to stage a total of five strikes over the coming months, stating they are to take industrial action on June 28th, July 7th and 18th, August 18th and October 18th.
The Fire Brigade Union has said the county will have lost one in five frontline firefighters in less than five years if the current planned cuts go ahead and as a result Essex firefighters have voted 2-1 in favour of strike action.
Although Essex Fire Chiefs have responded by saying they are confident that the need for strike action can be averted, it may be prudent to highlight the additional fire risks our summers can bring in their wake.
Yes, admittedly British summers, particularly this one, can be sporadic, with fleeting glimpses of sunshine between the clouds and the odd mini heatwave thrown in just to tease us. But it is precisely because of the erratic nature of our weather that when we do wake up to golden rays on the weekend, it's a mad scramble to get the barbie on the go - and occasionally the heat can have a detrimental affect on our common sense.
So follow a few rules and make sure your family BBQ is a safe and fun event.
It sounds like a lot of do's and don'ts, but it's little more than common sense really. A timely reminder however is never a bad thing.
Hopefully talks can iron out issues with the firefighters before they feel they have no choice but to go ahead with the industrial action. If not, Essex Fire and Rescue have said 100 firefighters and dozens of retained crews have declared themselves available during strike periods.
Add this to your now extensive BBQ safety knowledge and we can welcome the sunshine fully confident that we are well prepared for any eventuality...s o come on sunshine... hello... hellooooooo?????