Bonfire warning

Firefighters have warned people across our region not to hold bonfires tonight - but wait until tomorrow. Union members are staging a walk-out tonight.

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Second fire strike

In the next few minutes, members of the Fire Brigades Union will walk out for the second time in a week in a row over pensions.

The strike will last from 6am until 8am. A walk-out was also held on Friday night, which the fire service say "passed safely"

  1. Central

Firework code: how to enjoy the night safely

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents is encouraging people to look at the firework code Credit: DEAN LEWINS/AAP/Press Association Images

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents is encouraging people to look at the firework code to make sure they stay safe. They say:

Young people should watch and enjoy fireworks at a safe distance and follow the safety rules for using sparklers. Only adults should deal with firework displays and the lighting of fireworks. They should also take care of the safe disposal of fireworks once they have been used.

  • Plan your firework display to make it safe and enjoyable

  • Keep fireworks in a closed box and use them one at a time

  • Read and follow the instructions on each firework using a torch if necessary

  • Light the firework at arm's length with a taper and stand well back

  • Keep naked flames, including cigarettes, away from fireworks

  • Never return to a firework once it has been lit

  • Don't put fireworks in pockets and never throw them

  • Direct any rocket fireworks well away from spectators

  • Never use paraffin or petrol on a bonfire

  • Make sure that the fire is out and surroundings are made safe before leaving

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  1. National

Fire Brigades Union call for 'workable pension scheme'

The Fire Brigades Union has accused the Government of not listening to its own evidence which shows proposed pension changes are "unworkable and unaffordable".

The Government said the strikes, due to take place from 6.30pm to 11pm today, were damaging the reputation of the fire service.

Fire brigades across the country have urged people to put off any firework displays in their gardens tonight Credit: PA Wire

The general secretary of the FBU, Matt Wrack, said: "It is ludicrous that after two years of negotiations the Government has still not sorted out this mess.

"Firefighters are keen for these issues to be resolved through discussion but the Government won't even listen to its own evidence which highlight that the schemes are unworkable and unaffordable."

Mr Wrack called on the Government to help deliver a pension scheme which takes account of the "hazardous nature of the job" and is affordable and workable for the taxpayer.

  1. National

Fire Minister: Strike damages reputation of fire service

Strike action by the Fire Brigades Union is damaging the good reputation firefighters have with the public, the Fire Minister said.

Members of the FBU are due to walk out from 6.30pm to 11pm today and again for two hours from 6am next Monday in a row with the Government over pensions.

Members of the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) will walk out from 6.30pm to 11pm, and again for two hours from 6am next Monday. Credit: PA Wire

Fire Minister Brandon Lewis said: "This strike action by the FBU is completely unnecessary and does nothing but damage the good reputation firefighters have with the public.

"The public will be baffled by the FBU's course of action when they hear that the deal being offered to firefighters gives them one of the most generous pension schemes in all the public sector."

Mr Lewis called on firefighters to reconsider their decision to strike and work towards a resolution.

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