Essex County Fire and Rescue Service


Is your home guest ready?

Next Monday (17 May), we can gather inside our homes in groups of six or two households and Essex County Fire and Rescue Service is encouraging everyone to tidy their escape routes to ensure they are clear if needed in an emergency.

As well as thinking about the Covid-19 guidelines, Essex County Fire and Rescue Service wants residents to think about fire safety when welcoming up to six guests or combining two households in their homes. 

The Service is raising awareness of the importance of keeping escape routes clear as part of the Fire Kills campaign and is asking residents to clear any clutter blocking their usual routes in and out of the house. 

As well as keeping your escape routes clear, the Service is also urging residents to test their smoke alarms regularly and to make sure there is a working smoke alarm on every level of the home. If your smoke alarms are not working, you can contact the Home Fire Safety team for advice at 

Will Newman, Head of Prevention at Essex County Fire and Rescue Service said: “For many of us, it’s been over a year since we’ve had people in our homes and we might not be keeping our homes as tidy as they usually are.

“When you are welcoming guests back into your home, make sure they know the different routes out of your home in case of an emergency and make sure those routes are clear. Clearing away any clutter near doorways and hallways like shoes and boxes can help make sure you and your guests have got a clear path out of your home in an emergency.  

“If like many others, you’ve been buying more things online over the last year, make sure to find a home for your new goodies and ensure any packaging is recycled rather than piled up in the garden where it can fuel a fire.” 

Here are some simple steps to help keep you, your family and your guests safe: 

1. Think about how you’d all get out in case of a fire. Making an escape plan and practicing it will help ensure that everyone can get out, stay out and call 999  

2. Fit at least one smoke alarm on every level of your home so smoke can reach the alarms quicker giving you more warning time 

3. Test your smoke alarms at least once a month. Smoke alarms can save your life, but only if they work 

4. Clear your escape routes. Make sure you’re able to escape without tripping over to ensure a speedy exit 

5. Keep your door and window keys in a known and accessible place. Make sure everyone knows where the door and window keys are kept so they can reach them easily and get out quicker in case of a fire 

6. Work with your family and guests to create an escape plan and make sure everyone knows how to get out of the house when they hear the smoke alarms going off

For more home fire safety advice, visit: 

Page last updated 13 May, 2021

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