PEOPLE are being urged to take extra care after further Fire Brigades Union strikes were announced.

Industrial action will take place every day from Saturday 9th August to Saturday 16th August, from 12pm to 2pm and 10.59pm to 11.59pm.

It does not affect Bridport Fire Station, which has retained firefighters who are not taking part in the strike.

Dorset Fire and Rescue Service will be providing a reduced emergency response during these FBU strikes. We are asking for the local community to help protect themselves and their loved ones from the risks of fire.

Darran Gunter, Chief Fire Officer, said: “While the industrial action is ongoing we will still be responding to 999 calls. Our priority will be to respond to those calls where lives may be at risk or someone needs to be rescued. If we respond to non-emergency calls then those most in need, could be at risk, so please only ring 999 if a fire engine is really needed.

He added: “We are urging members of the public to take extra care to reduce the risk of a fire breaking out in their home or on our heathland. Fires can start for a variety of reasons, from cooking being left unattended, to electrical faults or careless disposal of cigarettes. The best advice we can give is for everyone to ensure they have a smoke alarm in their home and to check the battery is working at least once a week.”

Smoke detectors provide an early warning of a fire and can give occupants vital extra minutes to escape, especially at night. But a smoke alarm can only save your life if it is working and the battery is checked regularly.

Heathland fires can also begin for a number of reasons but when they are caused accidently it is usually because of a carelessly discarded cigarette or cooking left unattended. If you are out enjoying our heathland this week, please consider how you can protect it from fire. If you see anything suspicious please contact Dorset Police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Dorset Fire and Rescue will be using predominantly our large proportion of on-call firefighters to crew around 50% of the normal amount of fire engines