Around 3,000 firefighters across the region are due to go on strike later this morning in a row over pensions.
Today's strike, starting at 9am, will be the longest strike held so far and will last 24 hours. Contingency plans have been put on place with some fire stations still operating. Fire chiefs say it may take them a little longer to respond to 999 calls.
Chief Fire Officer for Avon Fire and Rescue Service, Kevin Pearson says they have contingency arrangements in place to deal with the strike, but warns they will be prioritising calls to emergencies where there is a risk to life.
This is a national dispute over which Avon Fire Authority has no control.
Although we have contingency arrangements in place, the reality is we will not be in a position to provide the excellent emergency response we usually do.
In the lead up to and during the strike I would ask local people to take steps to ensure their homes and businesses are as safe as possible.
Although it’s good practice anytime it’s particularly important during a period when our emergency response capability will be reduced.
Accidents do happen but it is possible to reduce the risk and the impact of a fire in the home by taking extra care not to leave cooking unattended, making sure you check smoke alarms are working and rehearsing escape routes with the whole family.
Business owners and managers should also be aware of their responsibilities to staff and customers under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order.
Although we will be prioritising calls our advice remains the same - if you have a fire you should get out, stay out and call 999.
The Public and Commercial Services union general secretary Mark Serwotka said a civil servants' strike planned for Budget day would kickstart a "rolling programme" of industrial action:
This is not a one-day protest, this is the start of a rolling programme of walkouts and disruptive action to put pressure on a government that is refusing to talk to us.
Civil and public servants are working harder than ever to provide the services we all rely on but, instead of rewarding them, the government is imposing cuts to their pay, raiding their pensions and trying to rip up their basic working conditions.
We warned more than two years ago that austerity wouldn't work and we were right.
There is an alternative to cutting the living standards of hard-working public servants and our campaign is designed to make the case loud and clear.