Essex County Fire and Rescue Service


Here's how a spring clean could save your life

Picture the scene: you hear your smoke alarm in your kitchen, rush out of bed and get downstairs, where you’re stunned to see smoke everywhere.

You can’t see your way to the front door, so you head out towards the back to safety. But wait - those boxes in front of your back door that you’d been meaning to move are there! Suddenly that spring clean you’d been putting off for weeks could literally be the difference between life and death.

When did you last consider how you might escape from your home in the event of a fire?

Even moving the smallest obstruction could be crucial – so why not give your house or flat a declutter and make your exit route as speedy as possible?

Having working smoke alarms throughout your property is vital to ensuring an early and smooth evacuation. Take a moment to test them monthly and have the peace of mind for a worst case scenario. Keeping keys to locked doors and windows in easily reachable places should also not be overlooked.

Dave Bill, Director for Prevention, Protection and Response, said:

“Making sure escape routes are clear is a pivotal part of fire safety and I would urge anyone who hasn’t already considered how they might get out of their home in the event of a fire to do so.

“Every second really does count when escaping a fire – so make sure everyone understands what to do in an emergency.”

If you live with family, you could even nominate a child ‘escape champ’, to give them the responsibility of fire safety and ensure they are less likely to panic in a real situation. That could include rehearsing the escape route itself, which would help establish any potential problems, or even offering them a torch to look after, if necessary.

Read our Escape Routes safety advice here.

We provide smoke alarms completely FREE of charge, and will visit your home and fit them for you all free of charge. We will also give you home safety advice and help you make an escape plan should you have an emergency.

Everyone in Essex can get our FREE home safety visit. We want 100% of homes in Essex with a working smoke alarm.

You can book your visit on our website ( or call us on 0300 303 0088.



Site by Pingala Media