Firefighters across Cornwall are due to go on strike this evening as part of an ongoing national dispute over pensions.
Members of the Fire Brigade Union will stage a four hour walkout from 6pm today, with the same action planned for tomorrow night.
In recent months firefighters have held a series of strikes in protest against plans that would see an increase in pension contributions and the retirement age raised from 55 to 60.
Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service (CFRS) is urging businesses and residents to be prepared and to think about fire safety ahead of the planned strikes.
CFRS chief fire officer, Des Tidbury, said: “I’m conscious that this is the latest in a series of strikes and people may be getting tired of hearing these messages but it is important to remain vigilant. A part of the work carried out by the fire service includes attending road traffic collisions so I especially want to appeal to people who may be out and about enjoying Christmas festivities to make sure they have a plan on how to get home – have a designated driver who remains sober or perhaps book a taxi.
“I would urge everyone to take extra care and time to think about fire safety in their home during this period - check smoke alarms; ensure you know what you would do if there is a fire and do not make unnecessary calls to the fire and rescue service.”
Mr Tidbury said that contingency plans are in place and the service will respond to 999 calls.
He added: “Public and firefighter safety remains of paramount importance and we will give the best service to the people of Cornwall within the limitations of the resources available to us.”