GREATER Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) is urging people to go to an organised bonfire event rather than hold their own during a four-day firefighter strike which starts this weekend.Â
Firefighters across England are taking industrial action from 6pm on Friday, October 31, to 6pm on Tuesday, November 4.
The dispute is between the Fire Brigades Union and the Government.
Head of Prevention at GMFRS, Area Manager Wayne Shields, said: â€œWe will have enough fire engines available to keep our communities safe during industrial action, but this is our busiest time of year.
â€œThe strike falls over the weekend before Bonfire Night and we expect lots of people across Greater Manchester will be planning to celebrate at home.
â€œIf youâ€™re planning to have a bonfire or a fireworks display at home please think about either postponing it until Bonfire Night or better still go to an organised event.
â€œThere is an interactive map showing where bonfires and firework displays will be held in your area at www.safe4autumn.com.
â€œWe would like to wish everyone a safe and happy Halloweâ€™en and Bonfire Night, but please take extra care whilst firefighters are taking industrial action.â€Â
Chair of Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Authority Councillor David Acton added: â€œNext weekend, the run up to bonfire night, is undoubtedly one of our busiest times. I would remind people to take extra care and stay safe.
â€œIf you would like some practical advice on this you can find lots of safety tips on our website www.manchesterfire.gov.uk
â€œThe strike will affect everyone and while our contingency plans remain in place it should be remembered that there will be less fire engines on our streets operated by people that are not as highly trained or experienced as our normal crew.
â€œFor these reasons please donâ€™t do anything that might put yourself, your friends or your family at risk. Go to an organised bonfire â€“ itâ€™s the safest thing.â€
To book a free Home Safety Check, that may include the fitting of smoke alarms, please
call 0800 555 815.Â For further fire safety advice, visitwww.manchesterfire.gov.uk