PEOPLE are being warned to take extra care during Thursday's firefighters' strike.

Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service (HWFRS) will operate a reduced service from 10am to 7pm during one of a long series of strikes in a row over pensions.

Members of the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) will join teachers, civil servants and other public sector workers in a day of action against what they consider to be unfair pay and pension arrangements, which would see the retirement age increased from 55 to 60 and halve pensions for those who chose to retire before their 60th birthday.

Adrian Elliott, group commander of HWFRS, said: “We are encouraging motorists and residents to take extra care during the strikes when there will be reduced fire cover. Not all of our firefighters are members of the FBU which means some stations will be working normally but people should be aware that it may take us a little longer to respond to calls in some instances.

“During the firefighter strikes, we want people to be clear about what to do in the event of a fire. The most important point they need to know is that they will still get an emergency response and they should not be tempted to tackle fires themselves.

“General fire safety messages that we promote throughout the year become even more crucial at times of strike action. An early alert to a fire in your home is just as important for avoiding injury and damage to property, and we would also like to remind people to install a smoke alarm on every floor of their home and to test each alarm is working on a weekly basis.”

Other fire safety messages include closing inside doors at night to help prevent a fire from spreading,

stubbing cigarettes out properly and disposing of them carefully, and never leaving cooking unattended.

People should also take care not to overload electrical sockets and watch out for faulty and over-heating electrical equipment and wiring or cables and if a fire breaks out to get everyone out as quickly as possible.

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