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West Midlands Fire Service is reassuring the public that it will be working hard to provide the maximum level of protection possible during eight consecutive days of strikes by members of the Fire Brigades Union, between Monday 14th and Monday 21st July, as part of a national dispute with the Government over their pensions.


Dates and times of the fifteen strikes:

Monday 14th July - Thursday 17 July: 6AM - 8AM and 5PM - 7PM 
Friday 18th July: 6AM - 8AM and 11PM - 1AM 
Saturday 19th July: 11AM - 1PM and 11PM - 1AM
Sunday 20th July: 5PM - 7PM
Monday 21st July: 6AM - 8AM and 5PM - 7PM


WMFS Area Commander Simon Shilton, said: “We’re asking people to familiarise themselves with the timings of the 15 strike periods spread over eight days, and to make safety an even higher priority than usual at these times.

The strike periods coincide with weekday school run and commuting times, and the weekend when people will be at home with their families and friends, out shopping, or enjoying a Friday or Saturday on the town.

We’d ask people to keep an eye on safety at all times, and to do what they can to make sure that vulnerable family members, friends or neighbours are safe and aware that the strikes are taking place.

We’re working hard to ensure that we can provide the best emergency response cover possible, using operational staff who won’t be on strike. Clearly, we hope that this national dispute can be resolved as quickly as possible. In the meantime, everyone can play a part in helping to minimise demand on the fewer resources we will have available.

Most house fires are preventable, and the public can make a huge contribution to their own safety. Using basic common sense at home, on the roads and at work can make the difference between needing our help or not.”

1. PROTECT YOUR HOME WITH SMOKE ALARMS

Make sure you have smoke alarms on each floor of your home.
Test your smoke alarms every week.
If you can’t reach them, get a friend or relative to test them for you.
Never disconnect or take the batteries out of an alarm if it goes off by mistake.

2. TAKE EXTRA CARE IN THE KITCHEN

Look when you cook! Never leave cooking unattended - take pans off the heat if you have to leave the room.
Keep your cooker clean - burnt food and fat can cause fires
Make sure that your toaster, oven, hob and grill are all clean and in good working order.
Don’t drink and fry - order a take-away or eat cold food.
Keep clothing and tea towels away from the cooker.
Keep electrical leads away from the cooker and water.
Get rid of your chip pan.
If a pan catches fire, don’t take risks. Get out, stay out and call 999.

3. CHECK YOUR ELECTRICS

Unplug appliances when not in use, unless they’re designed to be left on, like your fridge
Don’t overload plug sockets.
Ensure tumble dryers and washing machines are cleaned and maintained - excess fluff can build up over time and catch fire.
Keep heaters clear from curtains and furniture - never use them to dry clothes.
Keep all appliances clean and in good working order.
Regularly check for worn or frayed wires - always ensure cables are secured properly to the plug before plugging anything in.
Unplug your electric blanket before you go to bed, unless it has a thermostat for safe all-night use.
Don’t leave the washing machine or tumble dryer on while you’re out or in bed.

4. SMOKE SAFELY (IF YOU MUST SMOKE AT ALL)

Stub cigarettes out properly and dispose of them carefully. Put them out. Right out!
Never smoke in bed.
Keep all matches and lighters out of children’s reach.
Use a proper ashtray that can’t tip over and is made of material which won’t burn.
Never leave lit cigarettes, cigars or pipes unattended - they can easily overbalance, land on a carpet or newspaper and start a fire.
Empty ashtrays regularly.

5. SLEEP SAFELY

Establish a bedtime routine to keep you and your family safe. 
Switch off and unplug electrical equipment - only leave appliances on if they’re designed to be left on, like your fridge. 
Close all internal doors at night to stop a fire from spreading.
Check your cooker - make sure the grill, hob and oven are all turned off
Turn heaters off and put a guard in front of an open fire.
Check candles are out - never leave one burning when you go to sleep
Keep door and window keys where you can easily find them.
Keep a phone at your bedside in case you need help.
Don’t leave the washing machine or tumble drier on when you’re out or have gone to bed.

6. PLAN A SAFE ESCAPE

Plan an escape route so you know what to do if you’re alerted by your smoke alarm to a fire in your home. 
Make sure everyone knows the escape route, and keep it clear. 
The best route is the normal way in and out of your home. 
Think of a second route in case the first is blocked. 
Practise your escape plan. 
Keep door and window keys where everyone can find them. 


During the strike, people in genuine emergency, who need the fire service should call 999 as usual.

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