Fire chiefs issue safety advice ahead of strike

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WIGAN fire chiefs have offered safety advice to residents ahead of strike action.

Stand-in crews will be in use across the borough tomorrow (Wednesday) although the service will be operating at a reduced capacity during the strike hours from 12pm to 4pm.

County fire officer Steve McGuirk said: “Local people need to start thinking about their own safety - make sure they have a working smoke alarm, know the main causes of fire, have a fire escape plan and carry out a bedtime routine.

“We have recruited and trained an Emergency Fire Crew to provide fire cover. This will be much reduced from our usual service with fewer engines attending a limited range of incidents and we will be prioritising calls.”

The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) is in dispute with the government about pensions plans.

The following advice has been issued by Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS).

ROAD SAFETY:

If you’re on the roads during the strike, take extra care - you can read advice for safer driving on our websitewww.manchesterfire.gov.uk/updates/take_extra_care.aspx.

By staying vigilant and following these simple tips you can avoid being involved in a crash on the roads:

Reduce your speed and give yourself time to react - you never know what’s around the corner.

Never use your mobile phone when driving, pull over somewhere safe before making or taking a call.

Always wear your seatbelt and make sure your passengers are wearing theirs.

Keep your distance - remember the two second rule. Leave plenty of space between you and the vehicle in front.

If you are feel tired take a break - driving while tired can be lethal.

Drive for the conditions - in wet weather stopping distances are at least double those for stopping on dry roads.

HOME SAFETY

Steps you can take to help yourself and reduce the demand on the basic fire cover that GMFRS is providing on Wednesday:

Get a working smoke alarm

Know what could cause a fire in your home and make sure you and your family know how to prevent it.

Plan your escape in case there is a fire.

Look out for family and neighbours.

Only dial 999 in a genuine emergency

DIALLING 999:

GMFRS is asking the public to help by taking extra care and only dialling 999 if they need a fire engine, whilst the industrial action is taking place.

The priority of the Service on Wednesday afternoon will be to respond to priority calls where a life may be at risk or someone needs to be rescued.

If GMFRS responds to non-emergency calls then those most in need could be at risk.

A non-emergency call could be to someone who is locked outside their house or where debris has fallen in the road - there are other agencies and organisations that can help in this instance.

However, you should still call 999 in an emergency so that an experienced Control Room operator can deal with your situation and please don’t call your local fire station directly.

For further information on taking extra care during the strike, please visit http://www.manchesterfire.gov.uk/updates/take_extra_care.aspx