The Fire Brigades Union are taking strike action for four hours on Saturday 19 November from 6.30pm to 11.30pm. This is a national dispute between the union and the Government over pension arrangements and will affect all fire and rescue services in England and Wales.
Kent Fire and Rescue Service will be pooling working staff to crew fire engines, which will be located around the county to provide the best cover possible. They will be taking 999 calls and delivering as good a service as possible, but are asking businesses and the public to play their part by taking extra precautions to avoid fires. Safety details are on their website www.kent.fire-uk.org and advice to businesses includes:
1. Review your fire risk assessment: Complete your action plan, check if any new practices need consideration and enhance your safety routines
2. Arson protection: Secure external flammable waste containers and move away from buildings and secure if possible. Lock waste containers at night and check your security
3. Management of highly flammable materials: Reduce the volume you store on your premises where possible, store flammable liquids in approved containers, and store pressurised gas bottles in an external store or a well ventilated area. Conduct an end of shift check to ensure containers are sealed and placed in fireproof cupboards and ensure ‘hot works’ areas are controlled and inspected after completion
4. Cooperate with neighbouring businesses: Discuss your findings and ensure that the risk to your premises can be minimised by a fire in a neighbouring one. If you can coordinate actions with neighbouring businesses to reduce risk and provide assistance
5. In case of fire: Ensure any fire alarms are tested and working correctly, employees and visitors know what to do and escape routes and exits are clear and available to use at all times the building is occupied.
6. Firefighting equipment: Only tackle small fires if safe to do so, and make sure equipment is serviced and ready for use, nominated users trained and know where extinguishers are located.
Further info and safety details are on their website www.kent.fire-uk.org