South Wales Fire and Rescue Service (SWFRS) is urging people to be ‘extra vigilant’ with their safety following the Fire Brigades Union’s announcement that Firefighters in England and Wales will take further industrial action with strikes planned for: • Saturday 21st June - 10am until 5pm
Assistant Chief Fire Officer, Rod Hammerton, stressed: “South Wales Fire and Rescue Authority understand why staff are taking industrial action but we have a duty to do all that we reasonably can to make sure the people and communities of South Wales remain protected”.
“During these periods we urge our communities to be extra vigilant as they go about their business. During strikes we will continue to provide fire cover but it will not be anywhere near the normal levels, but the public can be assured life critical incidents will be responded to as a priority”.
In order to provide reassurance to communities, safety advice and guidance for the public is widely available through the South Wales Fire and Rescue Service website, social network sites on Facebook and Twitter, as well as through the local news.
Rod Hammerton, continued; “the importance of the following advice in the event of a fire, cannot be underestimated."
Business fire safety during industrial action
To ensure that your premises remain safe from fire during periods of industrial action:
Business owners should firstly undertake a review of their Fire Risk Assessment and if any changes are needed, implement those as a matter of importance. Precautions should also be made to prevent the occurrence of a fire. This might be as simple as walking around the building at the end of the working day to ensure that there are no combustible materials in the vicinity of the property.
Owners will also need to ensure that procedures for reducing the chances of a fire starting are well understood by all members of staff and that everybody remains alert to the dangers from fire. What each owner will need to do is dependent on their own Fire Risk Assessment.
During any period of industrial action, the responsibility for maintaining the fire precautions within the premises of the business remains with the ‘Responsible Person’ for the property and therefore, business owners are advised to ensure that everything is in place, in accordance with The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, in order to ensure the safety of staff, visitors and the premises.
Rod Hammerton concluded; “If any member of the public needs to call South Wales Fire and Rescue Service regarding a non-urgent matter it would help us if they considered waiting an extra day to make that call but for a genuine emergency they should call 999 and the Service will respond”.
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