FIRE chiefs are urging people take take extra care this weekend when emergency crews stage a strike.
The Fire Brigades Union plans to hold a second strike on Saturday between 6.30pm and 11.30pm as part of its dispute with the Government over pensions.
Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service assistant chief fire officer, Chris Lowther, said: “Saturday nights tend to be when people relax and enjoy themselves, so we would encourage everyone to take extra care.
“More than 60 per cent of fires we attend start in the kitchen, so we are asking people to take particular care when cooking this weekend.
“Never leave cooking unattended, do not use chip pans and do not cook when under the influence of alcohol.
“Also be careful not to get distracted by children or visitors.
“People often light candles on an evening to make their homes cosy as the nights draw in.
“Please ensure you don’t leave them unattended, next to soft furnishings or curtains, or on plastic surfaces.
“I cannot emphasise enough the importance of having working smoke alarms. Every household should have one on every level and they should be checked weekly. They give you early warning of fire and can mean the difference between life and death.”
“Every household should have an escape plan, and everyone who lives there should know what it is and what to do should a fire break out. Fire and smoke can spread rapidly.
“Finally, if you do have a fire, get out of the house, stay out and call 999.”
For more information, visit www.twfire.gov.uk