Warning for Sunderland to stay safe ahead of fire fighter strikes

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FIRE brigade bosses have issued a warning to Wearsiders ahead of this weekend’s planned strike action.

Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS) is encouraging residents to take extra care over Bank Holiday weekend when front-line firefighters are taking industrial action.

There are a number of big events happening in the region this weekend which coincide with the action, including the Sunderland 10K and half-marathon on Sunday.

The Fire Brigades Union plan to hold more strike action as part of its dispute with the Government over pensions tomorrow from noon until 5pm; Saturday from 2pm until 2am, and on Sunday morning and between 10am and 3pm.

Assistant Chief Fire Officer (ACO) Chris Lowther said: “Bank Holiday weekends tend to be when people get the chance to relax and enjoy themselves, so we are encouraging everyone to take extra care this weekend.

“More than 60 per cent of fires attended by Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service start in the kitchen, so we are asking people to take particular care when cooking. Never leave cooking unattended, do not use chip pans and do not cook when under the influence of alcohol, where you could easily forget about it or worse, fall asleep. Also be careful not to get distracted by children or visitors.

“Many people will be firing up their barbecues to cook outdoors if the weather is good. Again, we are asking people to take care and not to drink alcohol if they are in charge of a barbecue.”

Mr Lowther added: “I cannot emphasise enough the importance of having working smoke alarms. Every household should have one on every level and they should be checked monthly.

“Many people think they will wake up if there is a fire but this is not the case, just two to three breaths of toxic smoke will affect your ability to breathe, and can make you unconscious.

“Finally, if you do have a fire, get out of the house, stay out and call 999. ”