Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service is reassuring the public that emergency calls will be answered and responded to during the next stage of industrial action planned by the Fire Brigades Union (FBU).
It has been announced by the FBU that a five-hour strike will take place on Saturday 19 October. This follows the previous four-hour strike on 25 September.
The FBU balloted its members over industrial action after negotiations with the Government over pension reforms failed to reach an agreement.
Neil Odin, Assistant Chief Officer for Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “We did maintain a level of operational cover during the first round of industrial action, with more than 50% of our appliances being available.
“We would like to reassure the public that during this next stage of industrial action, emergency calls will still be answered and responded to. However, as with the last period of action, there is inevitably going to be an impact on our usual response times.
“We would again urge the public to be vigilant during the planned strike periods to help reduce unnecessary calls and take extra precautions to prevent fires in their own homes and businesses.”
The Service is asking the public to only consider calling 999 if there is a genuine need for a fire engine as calls where a life may be at risk or someone needs to be rescued will be prioritised.
Hampshire residents are also being encouraged to consider calling other relevant agencies for non-emergencies and to take steps to help reduce 999 calls.
ACO Odin added: “Ensure smoke alarms are working and consider checking your family and neighbours smoke detectors are in good working order.
“Businesses should ensure their fire alarm systems are properly maintained and working properly to avoid unnecessary call-outs. All precautions to reduce the risk of fire should also be in place.
“And take extra care on the road. Check your car is road safe, keep your distance and drive carefully.”
For more fire safety advice and information on the industrial action visit www.hantsfire.gov.uk.