Fire Service warning ahead of Storm Darcy
Essex County Fire and Rescue Service is warning Essex residents to be prepared for heavy snow and ice for the next few days.
The warning comes after Met Office UK issued weather yellow and amber snow and ice warnings from 11pm Saturday (6 February) through to midday on Wednesday (10 February).
Storm Darcy, named by the Dutch Met Service, KNMI, will also bring plummeting temperatures and strong winds.
Dan Bailey, Community Development and Safeguarding Team, said:
“With the weather feeling exceptionally cold, people will probably be looking for ways to keep their home warm.
“If you're using electric heaters make sure you turn them off when you leave a room, keep them away from anything flammable and don't cover them with anything.
“If you're using an open fire ideally you should have had it swept recently, but also make sure you use a fireguard, you don't stack it too high, keep anything flammable away from it and you let it burn down completely before you go to bed.”
During times like this, ECFRS’s priorities are continuing to respond to incidents and, wherever possible, supporting partners.
ECFRS takes steps to make sure it can maintain a consistent operational response, including using Ranger vehicles where needed, which are designed to overcome adverse conditions.
Despite Essex gritters working throughout the county, salt becomes ineffective in low temperatures and icy conditions so residents are being warned to stay at home if possible, and if they must go out, to follow important road safety advice.
Dan Bailey added:
“Weather conditions can play a part in the number of accidents on the road. Consider if your journey really necessary and in very bad conditions, please avoid driving completely.
“If you do have to drive, please make sure your car is roadworthy – your tyre condition is good, lights are clean and working, your windscreen is clear and blades are working. Make sure the washer bottle is full with screen wash, and you have an ice scraper in your vehicle.
“Slow right down, and only travel at speeds at which you can stop within the distance you can see.”
Current reports predict snow and ice easing from Wednesday, but with the ground already saturated, it is likely to leave areas of localised flooding across the county in its wake.
With ECFRS’s control room often inundated with 999 calls during times of flooding, Emma Polley, Control Crew Manager, said:
“We really appreciate people thinking twice before putting themselves in risky situations that could end in a 999 call.
“When roads are flooded please be sensible and only call 999 in an emergency or if there's a risk to life - the fire service doesn't recover cars from food water. Remember, if you come across a flooded road please don't try to drive through it - it's really dangerous and could damage your car too - just find another route.”
For more information on home and road safety visit ECFRS’s website: essex-fire.gov.uk/homefiresafety