Essex County Fire and Rescue Service


Stay safe this Easter weekend

With the bank holiday weekend almost upon us, Essex County Fire and Rescue Service wants to share home fire safety advice to make sure everyone has a safe Easter weekend.

The sunshine is set to continue throughout the weekend and you might be thinking of having a barbeque or a bonfire. The Service wants you to do this safely and would advise you to follow its safety advice below. 

Last month, ECFRS saw a 100% increase in the number of garden fires crews were called to compared to March 2019 and the majority of the causes were bonfire related.  

Andrea MacAlister, Head of Community Safety, said:

“We’d advise you to avoid having a bonfire if you can, some districts in Essex have banned them and we’d recommend checking with your local council to see what the rules are in your area.”

If you are planning on having a bonfire, please follow the below advice: 


  • Site the bonfire well away from houses, garages, sheds, fences, overhead cables, trees and shrubs
  • Never leave the bonfire burning unattended
  • Build the stack so that it is stable and will not collapse outwards or to one side
  • NEVER use flammable liquids - paraffin or petrol - to light the fire
  • Don't burn foam-filled furniture, aerosols, tins of paint and bottles
  • Keep everyone away from the fire - especially children, who must be supervised at all times
  • Pour water on the embers before leaving

If you plan to have a BBQ, please follow our advice below:


  • Follow the safety instructions provided with disposable barbeques. Never use a barbeque indoors
  • Never leave a barbeque unattended
  • Make sure your barbeque is well away from sheds, fences, trees, shrubs or garden waste
  • Keep children, pets and garden games away from the cooking area
  • After cooking, make sure the barbeque is cool before moving it
  • Empty ashes onto bare garden soil, not into dustbins or wheelie bins. If they’re hot, they can melt the plastic and cause a fire
  • Store gas cylinders outside, away from direct sunlight and frost
  • Make sure the tap is turned off before changing the gas cylinder
  • After cooking, turn the gas supply off first and then the barbeque control. This will stop any gas from leaking

Essex County Fire and Rescue Service has also seen a rise in house fires and you can help the Service help you by reading its home fire safety advice:

Here are ECFRS' 10 top tips to keep you safe at home:

  • Make sure you have smoke alarms on every floor of your home
  • Smoke alarms save lives, but only if they are working. Please test smoke alarms regularly.
  • Take extra care in the kitchen and never leave cooking unattended
  • Avoid using a chip pan or any other pan filled with hot oil
  • Don’t overload electric sockets– most can only take a maximum of 13 amps
  • Keep matches and lighters away from children
  • Keep clothes well away from heaters and open fires
  • Put out cigarettes properly and dispose of them carefully
  • Don’t charge things like mobile phones, tablets or e-cigs overnight, or longer than the recommended charging time
  • Plan an escape route and make sure everyone in the house knows how to get out in the event of a fire

For more home fire safety advice, visit: 

Page last updated 9 April 2020

Site by Pingala Media