Advice to residents and businesses during firefighters strike

Published: Thursday 30th October 14

Firefighters in London are expected to stage a four day strike starting at 6pm tomorrow evening (Friday).

During this time fire fighting cover will be provided by private contractors employed by the London Fire Brigade. The LFB will be responding to 999 calls throughout the strike action, but is urging people to take extra care to prevent fires happening in the first place.

And because the strike action will take place over a weekend when many people traditionally celebrate bonfire night, the LFB is strongly recommending that people attend professionally managed fireworks displays rather than staging their own back garden ones.

London Fire Commissioner Ron Dobson said: “Just last week, a stray firework caused a fire on scaffolding around a house in Brompton and on Saturday a firework was the suspected cause of a blaze that destroyed the balcony of a flat in Stratford. These incidents show how dangerous fireworks can be.
“I ask that you attend an organised firework show but if you are arranging your own display please carefully follow our fireworks code.”

The brigade has published details of organised bonfire and firework displays on its website, plus a range of tips on how to stay safe on bonfire night at

While the strike is on Londoners are being advised to follow a five point strike fire safety plan:

1. Check your smoke alarm to make sure it works.
2. Plan your escape route.
3. Take extra care when you are cooking or smoking.
4. Share fire safety tips – talk to friends and family (visit for advice).
5. Only dial 999 in a genuine emergency, for example a fire not a pet rescue. 

During the strike action fire fighting resources will still be sent to:

• Serious fires - like those in people’s homes – confirmed by a 999 call
• Vehicle fires
• Fire that involve gas cylinders
• Explosions
• Fires at railway stations and rail and road tunnels
• Aircraft crashes
• Train crashes – including London Underground trains
• Road traffic collisions
• Emergencies during underground construction work that involve people – such in tunnels or sewers
• Boat fires – including in moored boats
• Boat collisions
• Vehicles crashing into waterways
• Fires involving hazardous substances such as gas, petrol and other flammable liquids
• Collapsed structures where people are trapped

Incidents which a fire engine is unlikely to attend include:

• Grass fires and other outdoor fires such as trees, hedges or undergrowth alight
• Rubbish fires on open ground - including in bins and skips
• Flooding
• Leakages and spillages of gas, petrol and other flammable liquids – these should be referred to The Environment Agency and/or the Local Authority
• Large animal rescue - these should be referred to the RSPCA
• Releasing people shut in lifts - responsibility for making sure there are arrangements in place to release people rests with the owners or managers of the buildings concerned
• Automatic fire alarms – a fire engine will only be sent when the fire has been confirmed by a 999 call

For more information on how to stay safe at home, please visit

The strike is due to end at 6pm on Tuesday, November 4.

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Recent comments

I totally support the firefighters need to strike-when is this going to STOP!-just leave their well deserved pensions alone-they work extremely hard on a terrible wage and deserve every penny they put into their pensions each month leaving them with hardly enough to survive on. Just look at the respect and wages the firefighters get paid in other countries-what is the matter with this country!!!GET A GRIP and leave them be!
Ms S Corneille

31 October 2014