London Fire Brigade

Brigade targets stay at home mums during fire strike

13 November 2013

The London Fire Brigade is urging the UK’s stay-at-home mums to take care today, during the national Fire Brigades Union strike.

Fire chiefs are asking stay-at -home mums, of which there are thought to be over a million in the UK, house husbands, and others at home during the 10am-2pm strike, to take steps to prevent house fires. The Brigade is also calling on the estimated four million people who work from home to take greater care.

The strike will be the fourth in a dispute between the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) and government over the Government’s reforms to the Firefighters’ Pension Scheme. As in previous strikes, the Brigade will have 27 fire engines based at strategic locations and contingency crews will deal with emergencies across London.

The Brigade is particularly concerned about kitchen fires and those caused by cigarettes. New figures show that each year in London:

• There are around 6000 fires in peoples’ homes
• Around 2300 fires are caused by cooking
• Over 500 fires are caused by cigarettes and lighters

London Fire Commissioner, Ron Dobson, said:

“The Fire Brigades Union will be on strike between 10am-2pm today, meaning the vast majority of the nation’s firefighters will not be working. Fire and rescue services have contingency plans in place but you can help by taking extra care to prevent fires.

“Millions of people will be at home during the strike. They’re the ones we’re concerned about and that’s why we’re calling on them to keep a close eye on cooking and cigarettes.

“Cooking and cigarettes are two of the most common causes of fire in the home so if you’re home tomorrow during the strike we’re urging you to keep a really close eye on your cooking and make sure your cigarettes are right out once you’ve finished smoking them.”

The Brigade’s strike safety advice is as follows:

• Don’t leave your cooking alone in the kitchen. It’s much safer to keep an eye on it at all times
• Quit smoking for four hours. Or if you must smoke, make sure your cigarettes are right out by running them under a tap
• Test your smoke alarm before 10am so you’ll be quickly alerted if a blaze breaks out
The Brigade said that emergencies, like fires in homes, will be attended during the strike, but less serious incidents might not be.

Ends

Notes to editors

You can read more about the incidents that will and may not be attended during the strike on the Brigade’s website.

Research company, Mintel, estimates that there are 1.2M stay-at-home mums in the UK.

The TUC estimates that there are around 4 million people who work from home in the UK.