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13 November 2013, 06:00
Following the announcement that the Fire Brigades Union will be striking on Wednesday, 13 November between 10am and 2pm, Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) is again appealing for residents to remember a vital checklist aimed at preventing fires and saving lives.
KFRS is putting plans in place to be prepared to respond with a contingency level of fire and rescue services during the fourth period of industrial action but is calling on people to spend five minutes to make sure their home is safe during the strike. The #takeextracare checklist includes:
Before you leave for work on Wednesday morning:
*Check your smoke alarm
*Go round your home and unplug any unused electrical items before you go to work or leave home on Wednesday, and don?t overload electric sockets which is a major cause of fires
*Avoid leaving electrical items such as the washing machine or tumble dryer running while you are away from home or setting your oven to come on via a timer when you are out
*Drive carefully and wear a seatbelt - speed limits aren't targets
And for anyone at home on Wednesday:
*Don't leave any cooking unattended, especially if you?ve been drinking alcohol or are on medication
*If you are planning a bonfire, don't do it on Wednesday
*Avoid using candles and certainly do not leave them burning if you?re not in the room
*If you are out hiking or walking the dog, stick to safe areas and avoid water and deep mud where you may get into difficulties.
KFRS Chief Executive, Ann Millington said: "We will again be answering 999 calls and responding to incidents across the county but we will not be operating at our normal level, so we must again ask people to avoid making non-emergency calls to us during Wednesday's strike.
"They can also play their part and take extra precautions to keep themselves and local businesses safe. Just a few minutes following our safety advice could make a real difference; for example, making sure plugs aren't overloaded and doing a five minute check around the home before you leave for work.
"During previous strikes over the last few weeks, the public have heeded our safety warnings and we do want to thank them for that. Thanks also go to the staff who kept fire engines on the run and did their best to help keep the county safe during these strikes."
KFRS also has a checklist for businesses with important preventative measures they can take themselves. For more safety advice, visit the KFRS website or call 0800 923 7000.