Essex County Fire and Rescue Service

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Escape route safety message

When fire strikes an escape route will give you and your family extra vital seconds to get out to safety - that is the message from Essex County Fire and Rescue Service.

The Service is urging people to create an escape route, practice it and make sure that route is always kept clear.

Having a simple and clear strategy could be the difference between life and death when fire strikes.

Divisional Officer Neil Fenwick said: “Every second counts in a fire and an escape route that has been planned and practiced will help get you and your family out to safety quicker.

"When there is a fire in the home our advice is get out, stay out and call the fire service.

“A few simple steps like having a working smoke alarm and having a well prepared route can help shave vital seconds in times of danger.”

Working smoke alarms will give everyone warning during a fire but your escape can be slowed by a blocked exit, locked door or a cluttered hallway.

This will expose you and your family to the potentially fatal dangers of toxic smoke.

ECFRS has some simple tips that will help prepare you when a fire breaks out in your home:

- Fit a smoke alarm on each level of your home and test them regularly.

- Prepare an escape route, make sure everyone knows it and practice your escape.

- Keep your escape route clear so there are no obstacles to slow you down.

- Make sure everyone in the house – including friends and family who may stay over – knows where all keys to doors and windows are kept.

- If you have serious mobility difficulties you may consider a bedroom on the ground floor or near to a way out.

- Ensure at least one window above ground floor level opens fully to allow escape in an emergency.

DO Fenwick added: “Your planned escape route should stay free of any obstructions, loose floor coverings, or anything else that could be a hindrance.

“If your home catches fire, you may have to get out in dark and difficult conditions. It will be a lot easier if you have already planned and rehearsed your escape route and you know where to go in danger.”

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