THE Fire Department is calling on residents to follow safety advice amid flooding concerns with heavy rain expected after weeks of heatwave.
The Essex County Fire and Rescue Service (ECFRS) had one of its busiest weekends in years last weekend.
The department’s control room handled hundreds of calls and firefighters responded to countless incidents.
On Friday last week, they received 316 including 419 on Saturday and 341 on Sunday.
On the same weekend last year, the service received just 219 calls over the same three-day period.
Group manager Dan Partridge said: “It was busy, but we answered every emergency call. We are exceptionally proud of the work of our team – the firefighters, control room staff and our support staff who worked this weekend, changing their plans to keep the county safe.
“Please help us help you by following our safety messages as the hot and dry conditions continue. Please no bonfires, barbecues and ensure cigarettes are extinguished properly.
However, with thunderstorms on the way, firefighters are warning residents to beware of flooding.
Mr Partridge continued: “We are expecting rain and thunderstorms in the next few days so we may experience some flooding and we are prepared for it.
“But again, please follow our safety tips and don’t drive through flood waters, be prepared and plan your travels.”
To prepare the inhabitants, the service has issued some safety instructions in the event of flooding.
While they work with partner agencies to help during the floods, the service says it can only respond to incidents when there is a risk to life.
The ECFRS asks drivers not to risk crossing floodwaters and to turn around and find an alternate route.
For homeowners, they advise making sure your external drains are free of debris, getting everything off the ground to avoid damage, and turning off the electricity.
If you can’t do this safely, call an electrician.