THE region's firefighters will strike next Wednesday in a row over pensions.

The four-hour strike will take place on September 25 between 12-4pm.

Almost 80 per cent of firefighters nationally had voted in favour of industrial action in a ballot that ended earlier this month.

"This initial strike is a warning shot to the government," said Matt Wrack, from the Fire Brigades Union. "Firefighters could not be more serious about protecting public safety and ensuring fair pensions.

"It's ludicrous to expect firefighters in their late 50s to fight fires and rescue families - the lives of the public and firefighters themselves will be endangered.

"None of us want a strike, but we cannot compromise on public and firefighter safety."

Jamie Courtney, South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue's chief fire officer called on the public to test their smoke alarms.

"The best way people can keep themselves safe is to take care to prevent fires from happening in the first place," he added.

He warned the service the brigade could provide would be ‘considerably depleted’.

Firefighters pay some of the highest pension contributions in the UK and have seen increases for two consecutive years.

The majority of firefighters already pay almost 13 per cent of their salary in contributions with further increases due next year. That will mean some firefighters now face an increase six years in a row.