CHESHIRE Fire and Rescue Service said it’s confident of handling forthcoming industrial action over Christmas, but called on the public to be ‘extra vigilant’.

Members of the Fire Brigades Union have announced a further three periods of industrial action.

The first will take place between 7pm and midnight on Christmas Eve, the second between 6.30pm and 12:30am on New Year's Eve and the third from 6.30am until 8.30am on January 3.

A spokesman said: “We do have plans and procedures in place that will enable us to continue to protect the communities of Cheshire during strike periods.

“However, as we do have less fire engines available we would once again encourage everyone to take extra care during the strike.”

Chief Fire Officer, Paul Hancock, added: “Despite the timing of these strikes I would like to reassure residents that we will still be providing an emergency response service during these strikes, however, it is more important than ever than people take extra care and follow our key safety messages.”


Key messages

Be especially careful not to overload plug sockets with Christmas lights and remember to switch them all off before you go to bed.

It is also important for anyone enjoying Christmas and New Year parties and celebrations to remember not to start cooking when you have had a drink – it is one of the biggest causes of and potentially most dangerous kind of house fire.

Also remember to leave cars at home if you are thinking of having alcohol – never drink and drive.

The Service is encouraging people not to use fireworks or sky lanterns during the strike periods.

Ensure you have a working smoke alarm installed in your home, know exactly how to get out of your home if a fire was to break out and keep wheelie bins locked away.