Essex County Fire and Rescue Service


Fire Service urges people to stay safe and enjoy #FireFreeFun

With the hot and dry conditions continuing, Essex County Fire and Rescue Service is working incredibly hard to keep everyone who lives, works and travels in Essex safe.

The Service wants to thank the people of Essex for their support so far in doing everything they can to avoid fires from happening but are now calling for everyone to be especially careful over the next few days as temperatures are set to rise again.

Firefighters are urging people to have #FireFreeFun until there is a prolonged period of rain, and avoid having barbecues, using chimineas, or setting off fireworks and sky lanterns.

The Service has also seen an increase in deliberate fires, which is usual during the summer months, and is encouraging people to use FireStoppers.

Managed by CrimeStoppers, FireStoppers is an anonymous way to report what people know about deliberate fire setting in their area. It’s not for reporting any blame, it’s for the Service to prevent the fires from happening.

People can call FireStoppers on 0800 169 5558 or report online.

Area Manager Neil Fenwick said: “The people of Essex have really helped us so far. We are prepared for an increase in fires due to the hot weather and have already been dealing with an extremely high level of demand, but we really need the public to help us, especially over the next few days when temperatures are set to rise again.

“We don’t want to stop people enjoying themselves but please do really think about whether it is necessary to have a barbecue or use a chiminea, and definitely think again about setting off fireworks or sky lanterns.

“The prolonged dry conditions mean that even the smallest fire can spread extremely quickly, we saw at the weekend in Chelmsford when a chiminea accidentally caught alight, affecting the gardens of 15 homes and 40 people having to be evacuated from their homes. Ask yourself, is it really worth taking that chance?”

In hot and dry weather, people can help prevent fires if they:

  • Don’t have bonfires/campfires
  • Don’t have barbecues
  • Make sure cigarettes are put out properly
  • Don’t leave glass bottles in the sun 

Many people will be heading out to Essex beaches, rivers and other waterside locations to cool down over the next few days. Please always follow the Water Safety Code when around water: 

Look for dangers. Always read and follow local safety signs.

Arrange to go with family or friends, and always swim at a lifeguarded location.

In an emergency:

CALL 999
Never enter the water in an attempt to rescue.
If inland, ask for the Fire Service. If at the coast, ask for the Coastguard.

Keep calm. Lean back, and use your arms and legs to help you float. Get control of your breathing and call for help. If you can, swim to safety.

To read more about water safety, visit the water safety advice page.

Page last updated 9 August, 2022

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