Council and fire service aim to boost fire safety

25 January 2021

Residents of council-managed properties are being reminded to clear communal spaces of clutter, which can be a fire hazard.

Cllr Barry Johnson, Cabinet member for housing, said: "Keeping our residents safe is our priority at all times, and in the wake of the tragedy at Grenfell a number of legislative changes have been introduced. We have reviewed safety measures around managing communal areas and sought advice from Essex County Fire and Rescue Service.

"We're asking our residents to 'clear clutter, stay safe' – they can do this by making sure communal areas are free from items including bikes, prams, toys and rubbish. Objects left in these areas can help fires spread more rapidly, cause trip hazards in the event that residents need to evacuate their homes, and prevent firefighters from being able to access council-managed homes in the event of an emergency."

Area manager Jim Palmer, of Essex County Fire and Rescue Service, said: "Keeping communal areas and escape routes clear is essential to ensure the safety of your family and neighbours.

"In the event of a fire, it could be dark and smoky so anything that blocks the way can cause a devastating delay in getting out of the building. We are urging residents to ensure your communal areas are kept clear to help save the lives of your family, neighbours and our firefighters."

For more information on fire safety at home, go to