The Fire Brigades Union has praised fire fighters for their unity and determination during last night's strike. Fire fighters across England and Wales walked out on strike between 6.30pm and 11pm in the dispute about pensions.
FBU General Secretary Matt Wrack said: 'Fire fighters have once again shown their determination to defend their pension rights and to campaign for a pension which reflects the job they do. We hope government will now sit down and negotiate a settlement to this dispute.'
Fire services across the Meridian region say they were not greatly affected by industrial action by fire fighters last night. Although there were fewer fire appliances on call, fire services say they were able to deal with incidents.
Hampshire - 41 fire appliances crewed by retained fire fighters, about half the usual number. Service's 20-minute response time to emergencies was maintained.
Wiltshire - 18 appliances on duty instead of 24. Crews attended just one incident across the county - an overheated plug socket in Swindon.
Berkshire - 10 appliances available instead of average of 15. Four calls received, only one of which required the brigade’s attendance. This was a small fire in a garden in Humber Way, Owlsmoor, which was out on arrival.
Further strikes are scheduled between 6am and 8am on Monday.
Kent Fire & Rescue Service (KFRS) has advised people to think twice about having bonfires or fireworks at home tonight because of a strike by firefighters.
The service will be answering 999 calls, but will run a normal level of service.
The industrial action is being taken in a row over pensions.
"We will be pooling working staff to run response vehicles at locations around the county to provide the best cover possible with the staff available We will still be answering 999 calls, but we are asking the public to only call us in a genuine emergency. However everyone needs to appreciate that the service is not operating at our usual level, so it is particularly important during what is traditionally a busy bonfire weekend for the public to take extra care.
If people will take a few minutes to follow our safety advice they really can help reduce unnecessary calls and prevent fires in their homes and businesses."
– Ann Millington, KFRS Chief Executive
Before you go out, or to bed, unplug unused electrical items, make sure no sockets are overloaded and test your smoke alarms
Businesses need to make extra safety checks too – especially as there are fireworks around this weekend
Fire brigades across the country have urged people to put off any firework displays in their gardens tonight and to switch it to Saturday, or to go to an organised event as firefighters go on strike in a row over pensions.
London Fire Brigade said today was likely to be one of the busiest days of the year for the fire service, ahead of Guy Fawkes Night and Diwali celebrations and urged people to attend organised displays.
London Fire Commissioner Ron Dobson called on people not to put themselves at risk by lighting fireworks and bonfires tonight as only serious emergencies will be attended to by a contingency fire and rescue service during the strike.
The Fire Brigades Union said it has timed the strikes so that celebrations on Bonfire Night and the Saturdays before and after November 5 - the most popular times for firework displays - can take place.
South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue said its emergency response service would be "severely reduced" because of the strike.