Be safe during fire strike tonight

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Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service is urging party goers to be extra careful during the next fire strike tonight (New Year’s Eve).

The service has back up plans in place so 999 emergency fire calls will get a response during the national FBU strike, which runs from 6.30pm on New Year’s Eve (Tuesday) until 12.30am on New Year’s Day (Wednesday).

Chief Fire Officer Graham Stagg said: “While we want people to have a good time, we also want them to welcome 2014 in safely. If you are going to enjoy a night out, look after yourself and your friends. Leave the car at home and get a taxi if you are going to have a drink and never drive when tired.

“Likewise, if you are planning to have a house party, don’t cook if you have been drinking alcohol – more than half of the fires in the home are caused by cooking accidents – don’t put yourself at risk.

“If you plan to welcome the New Year in with a bang, then please use fireworks safely and sensibly. We would also strongly urge people not to release sky lanterns. Once a sky lantern has been set off, there is absolutely no way that you can control where it lands. The best way to avoid any of these unwanted consequences is to steer well clear of setting off sky lanterns in the first place. Don’t risk turning a celebration into a tragedy.”

During the strike, fire engines will be crewed by operational staff from watch commanders up to the chief fire officer. Two non-operational managers have been trained to drive fire engines and on-call firefighters will be available across the county.

CFO Stagg added: “I have once again been overwhelmed at the commitment and willingness shown by operational managers, on-call firefighters and support staff who have again changed family plans at short notice during the festive break to ensure our county has fire cover.”

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