Essex County Fire and Rescue Service


Fire Service gives safety advice to help reduce autumn and winter fires

Essex County Fire and Rescue Service is giving home fire safety advice to help residents stay safe this autumn and winter.

During the colder months, the Service often sees a rise in house fires, often caused by chimneys, candles and families being at home more.

Will Newman, Head of Prevention at Essex County Fire and Rescue Service said: “If you have an open fire or log burner make sure you get your chimney swept and inspected by a suitable tradesperson.

“While a flickering candle can feel cosy, the naked flame can quickly cause devastation if the candle is left to burn unattended or too near to flammable surfaces like curtains.

“Make sure to blow candles out every time you leave the room and keep them in secure holders well away from curtains and other flammable items. Be mindful that children or pets can easily knock candles over so ensure they are placed out of reach.

“Our top tip this year is to swap your traditional candles for LED / battery candles. These are a low cost, safer and a renewable way to create the same atmosphere and have peace of mind. 

“The colder weather usually makes us want to fill up on warm and comforting foods. But with half of all house fires start in the kitchen it's important to take pans off of the heat when you leave the room and use timers for cooking in the oven."

The Service is also urging people to make sure they have a working smoke alarm on every level of their home and test them at least once a month.

The sound of the smoke alarms going off can give you time to safely escape your house and they do regularly save lives. If you’re asleep or even if you’re not home, they can alert your neighbours and people passing by to a fire in your home.

Will added: "Please get in touch with our home fire safety team if you or someone you know doesn’t have a working smoke alarm at home. We can give advice over the phone on where to place your smoke alarms and can arrange to visit your home for free to discuss the different fire risks in your home and how you can reduce them.”

You can book a home fire safety visit online at or by calling 0300 303 0088.

Page last updated 28 September, 2021

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