Essex County Fire and Rescue Service


Fire service gives summer safety advice

Summer is a busy period for Essex County Fire and Rescue Service and the Service is giving its best advice to help prevent incidents and help you to stay safe this summer.  

The Service usually sees a rise in wildfires in the summer and fires that spread quicker in the dry weather.  

To help prevent a rise in incidents, the Service will be sharing its summer safety advice throughout summer to help everyone who lives, works and travels in Essex enjoy their summer safely. 

Will Newman, Head of Prevention at Essex County Fire and Rescue Service said: During the summer period, we often see a rise in the number of accidental and deliberate fires across Essex. These include bonfires, BBQ fires, refuse and wheelie bin fires, fires in stairwells or derelict buildings, as well as grass and countryside fires made worse by hot and dry conditions. 

"Warmer weather and the increased numbers of people visiting our parks, countryside and seaside creates a greater risk of fire and accidents. By following our safety advice below and on our website, we can all play our part in preventing fires and other incidents this summer.”  

The fire service will be sharing its advice online at and on its social media channels.   

To reach people who are not online, the Service will be out and about throughout summer at caravan sites and other busy destinations giving advice to the public on how to stay safe.   

Every year the fire service is called to a number of fires that are started by using a barbeque. Barbeques can be dangerous if not handled responsibly, so it's important to keep safety in mind, especially when kids and pets are around.

  • Never leave a barbeque unattended  
  • Set the barbeque well away from sheds, fences, houses, trees and plants   
  • Always supervise children and pets near the barbeque    
  • Drink responsibly if you’re in charge of the cooking   
  • If you’re using a disposable barbeque, always place it on an even surface on either bricks or paving slabs and well away from the house, shed or fences  
  • Follow the safety instructions provided with disposable barbeques. Never use a barbecue indoors   
  • If you're using a disposable barbeque ensure it has cooled before putting it in the bin. To avoid starting a fire you should allow it to cool for several hours and then consider pouring water over it to make sure it's out

For more barbeque safety advice, visit:   



  • Site the bonfire well away from houses, garages, sheds, fences, overhead cables, trees and shrubs 
  • Never leave the bonfire burning unattended 
  • NEVER use flammable liquids - paraffin or petrol - to light the fire  
  • Pour water on the embers before leaving   

For more bonfire safety advice, visit:  



  • Allow at least 6m spacing between tents and caravans  
  • Never use fuel-burning devices (e.g. disposable barbecues, camping stoves, camping heaters, lanterns, and charcoal grills) inside a tent  
  • Never use candles in or near a tent - torches are much safer  
  • Cook outside and away from the tent  
  • Don't smoke inside the tent and keep any flammable material away from the cooking area  
  • Have an escape plan   

For more camping safety advice, visit:   



  • When staying in a caravan, a working smoke alarm is just as important as having one in your home.   
  • If a fire breaks out in a caravan or mobile home it is always serious, so always get everyone away from the caravan at a safe distance and call 999 immediately.  
  • If you smoke, use metal ashtrays - and never smoke in bed or if you are likely to fall asleep  
  • Turn off all appliances before you leave the caravan or go to bed  
  • Don't block air vents - if any leaking gas builds up you may fall unconscious and be unable to escape. Always keep the caravan ventilated. Ensure that air vents are clear - if air vents get blocked, it could be fatal  

For caravan safety advice, visit:   


Water safety:  
Most people don't think of the fire service when it comes to water rescues, but it's an important part of Essex County Fire and Rescue Service’s work. Tragically, more than 700 people drown in the UK and Ireland every year and many more suffer life-changing injuries.  

The Service has specialist water rescue crews ready to respond to emergencies across Essex 24/7.   

If you’re going to be enjoying the water this summer, always follow the Water Safety Code. Whenever you are around water:   

STOP and THINK - Look for the dangers, always read the signs  

STAY TOGETHER - Never swim alone - always go with friends or family  

In an emergency:  

CALL 999 - Shout for help and phone 999  

FLOAT - If you fall in, float or swim on your back. Throw something that floats to anyone who has fallen in  

For more water safety advice visit: 


Switch off before you set off 
If you’re leaving your home for an extended period of time this summer for a holiday, remember to “switch off, before you set off.” 

Electrical appliance and devices like televisions and computers are more likely to cause a fire if they are accidentally left switched on for long periods of time, for example when people go on holiday for a week or two.  

So if you’re about to set off for a much needed relaxing holiday, switch off your electrical appliances and take a moment to consider our fire safety advice before you set off. 

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