FIREFIGHTERS will strike for four days in the lead up to one of the service’s busiest times of the year.

East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service (ESFRS) is urging the public not to take risks over the bonfire season after the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) announced the four-day strike last week.

Firefighters across East and West Sussex form part of a national walk-out from 6pm tonight until 6pm on November 4 as part of an ongoing dispute with the Government over pensions.

ESFRS said contingency crews made up of non-FBU members will still respond to emergencies but that cover would be reduced.

Chief fire officer and chief executive Des Prichard said: “The weekend is expected to be particularly popular for people having bonfire and fireworks celebrations and we want to ensure people enjoy themselves safely.

“If you can, attend a local organised display.

“Organisers have to put their own safety measures in place, such as emergency drills, first aid posts and fire extinguishers, buckets of water, buckets of sand and metal litter bins.”

The service has asked people to consider re-arranging celebrations to a night not affected by strike action.

Jackie Boyle, community fire safety officer for West Sussex Fire and Rescue, said: “Traditionally, the firework season can be a busy time of year for fire services and this year it coincides with the most prolonged period of FBU strike action since the start of the dispute.

“That means it is vitally important that people follow our safety advice and don’t take unnecessary risks.”


  • 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
  • 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