Safety warning issued ahead of four-day fire strike

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Residents have been urged to be vigilant as firefighters begin four days of strike action today as part of a continuing dispute with the government over pensions.

Members of the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) will walk out at 6pm tonight until 6pm on Tuesday evening.

Although contingency plans are in place to cover the walk-outs, Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service chiefs have warned the public to take extra care.

Chief fire officer Nigel Williams said the public should be aware that fewer resources were available and that 999 calls would be prioritised.

He said: “It is the time of year when people are likely to be organising their own fireworks displays. If this is the case I would urge them to be extra vigilant and prioritise their safety.

“Our advice would be for people, if possible, to attend organised events rather than holding them at home.”

Union leaders claim the government has failed to present any new proposals to them, despite two months of negotiations and accused them of conducting a “heartless assault” on the service.

But the government claimed the union was “letting down” its members by calling a strike at a time of maximum disruption to the public.