Fireworks display warning over firefighters strike

Firefighters attending a union rally
Image caption Firefighters want assurances about working up until the age of 60

The London Fire Brigade (LFB) has urged people to cancel their own plans for firework displays on Friday because of a planned national strike.

Members of the Fire Brigades Union will walk out from 18:30 to 23:00 GMT on Friday in a dispute over pensions.

The LFB has advised people to attend an organised event.

It said it was likely to be one of the busiest days of the year for the service, ahead of Guy Fawkes Night and Diwali celebrations.

London Fire Commissioner Ron Dobson said: "Fireworks cause serious fires each year and bonfires can quickly get out of control, which is why we're urging people to attend organised displays on Friday.

"During the strike we will have a contingency fire and rescue service of 27 fire engines, crewed by temporary firefighters.

"Serious emergencies will be attended, but smaller incidents won't so we are calling on the public not to put themselves at risk by lighting fireworks and bonfires."

The government wants firefighters to work up to the age of 60 but the union says this is too old to be fighting fires.

A second strike will be held for two hours from 06:00 GMT on Monday 4 November, the day before Bonfire Night.

In the first round of action last month, 32,000 union members in England and Wales walked out, the FBU said.

A second strike was called off earlier this month after progress was made during talks.

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