RESIDENTS are being urged to take fire safety seriously as they start to welcome more people into their homes following the easing of restrictions.

From next Monday groups of up to six people or two households will once again be allowed to gather under the same roof.

Due the lack of visitors many people would have had over the last year, the Essex Fire and Rescue Service is concerned some may have left clutter to build up.

As part of the Fire Kills campaign, firefighters are now encouraging everyone to tidy their escape routes in case they are needed in an emergency.

Will Newman, head of prevention at Essex Fire and Rescue Service, believes having a clear way out of a burning building will ensure of safety of residents and their guests.

He 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 welcoming guests 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.

“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.”

As well as keeping escape routes clear, the service is also urging residents to test their smoke alarms and to make sure there are working alarms throughout the home.

If your smoke alarms are not working, you can contact the Home Fire Safety team for advice at

For more home fire safety advice visit