Essex County Fire and Rescue Service (ECFRS) is an emergency service, and rest assured, there is currently no change to the way we will respond to incidents. Keeping people who live, work and travel in Essex safe is our priority. Whatever the situation, we will always be there for you if you need us in an emergency.
Though the situation involving coronavirus (COVID-19) is unprecedented, ECFRS has a robust operational and business continuity plan which we regularly update and test, so that in events such as this, we are prepared and confident in meeting these challenges. We intend to use operational staff who are not currently on front line duty to provide resilience to our frontline services if needed, increase remote working across our whole Service and reduce non-essential interaction with our public, but not at the expense of upholding our emergency service.
As always, ECFRS is working hard to maintain communication and engagement with the public. While it has been necessary to postpone forums such as public meetings and events such as car washes and station visits, we will continue to deliver safety messages and updates though our website, social media channels and via local media.
We've temporarily stopped home fire safety and safe and well visits we conduct, but expect to start delivering them in the coming days, prioritising them for people who are particularly vulnerable to the risk of fire. During this time we will provide home safety advice over the phone, and ensure more staff than ever are available to reassure, educate and advise anyone who needs this information.
As this situation develops, and more people stay at home because they are social distancing or self-isolating, there is a chance we could see an increase in accidental house fires. This is because people are at a higher risk of these types of incidents while they are at home. We are already increasing our safety messaging around these types of incidents as well as advertising our home safety phone number: 0300 303 0088
In these unprecedented times it is difficult to know when official advice will change, but we will always work to keep our public updated whenever we can on our latest information and advice.
The Government, the NHS, emergency services and local authorities are all working together to fight the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). We are all encouraging every member of the public to help and play their role.
Detailed information about the virus, its symptoms, how to avoid catching it and what to do if you think you have it are available here: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/
Daily updates are being posted on gov.uk here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public
Resources for children
If you're strugling for ways to keep your children involved, or want to get them involved in understanding how to reduce fire risk in their home, take a look at our fire safety activies for children web page.
Visiting our Service?
In light of the current situation regarding coronavirus, we’ve made the decision to postpone our upcoming public events. We will update this page if anything changes. Please get in touch with your point of contact if you are unsure as to what to do next.
Home safety visits
If you are expecting a visit from us and think you may be suffering from coronavirus symptoms or are self-isolating please let us know in advance by calling 0300 303 0088.
We will always be available for home safety advice over the phone – please call 0300 303 0088 to speak to us.
As always, if you believe there is an emergency call 999 immediately. We will always respond and be there for you when you need us in an emergency.
Business fire safety
We've received reports that businesses have been propping fire doors open to minimise contact between staff and door handles. We do not recommend propping doors open and would advice businesses to follow Public Health advice around regularly washing your hands for 20 seconds or more to minimise the spread of coronavirus. If you have any concerns around fire safety in your workplace, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org