ESSEX County Fire and Rescue Service is urging families and businesses to take extra care and make sure that they are ready for the upcoming Fire Brigade Union Strikes taking place between 10am and 7pm on Thursday July 10.

Assistant Chief Fire Officer Paul Hill said: “Fire engines will still be attending emergencies and the public should continue to dial 999 as normal.

“But anything we can do to reduce the number of non-emergency calls during the strike periods will clearly assist us in ensuring our service delivery is directed to those areas where it is most needed.”

In advance of the strike, families are being urged to check their smoke alarms are working. Keep an eye on any vulnerable neighbours, friends and family and help them to check theirs.

Mr Hill said: “If they don’t have one, you still have time to fit one. Smoke alarms have proved time and again that they are invaluable life saving devices and with or without industrial action will give people early warning and time to escape a fire.

“In the event of a fire – get out, stay out, call the fire service out.

“We should all know how easily a fire can start and it is a good idea now to pay extra attention to the frequent causes of fire. Though we are issuing this advice now – it is good advice at all times.”