'Grab a Kebab': Firefighters urge diners to 'stay safe with a takeaway' during strike action

Firefighters in national dispute over Government pension reforms

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The Independent Online

Firefighters are urging people to "treat themselves to a takeaway" to help prevent cooking fires during strike action on Saturday.

Essex County Fire and Rescue Service will be staging a walk-out between 18:30hrs and 23:30hrs as part of a national dispute over Government pension reforms.

Divisional Officer Neil Fenwick said: “Cooking is a huge cause of fires - around a third of all house fires start in the kitchen, so by ordering in a takeaway people can make a real difference and help us reduce the risk of fire.”

According to the firefighters 56 per cent of house fires in Essex start in the kitchen and "avoiding cooking this Saturday could make real difference while there is reduced fire cover."

More than 10% of kitchen fires start after 11pm as people arrive home from a night out, the fire service said.

DO Fenwick said: “Cooking after drinking is a recipe for disaster so our best advice is on your way home grab a kebab, murder a burger or hurry for a curry rather than try and cook when you get in.”

In tweets posted on their twitter feed Essex Fire Service encouraged takeaways to do their "part for fire safety", asking "kebab shops, chippies & burger bars [to] let us know the offers."

Firefighters are taking strike action in a dispute with the government over pension reforms.

The Fire Brigades Union has warned that the government is "putting everyone’s safety at risk", by making changes to pension arrangements which will force firefighters to work until they are 60 instead of 55.

At a central London demonstration yesterday General Secretary Matt Wrack said: “The government is putting us all at risk, first by slashing the fire service, and second by forcing firefighters to work beyond the age at which they can physically do the job.”

The government has said the changes are fair and would still give firemen and women one of the most generous pensions in the public sector.

Fire engines crewed by Essex firefighters will still be attending incidents in the county. People are advised to dial 999 as normal in an emergency.