Essex County Fire and Rescue Service has been putting plans in place to ensure residents will get an emergency response when they need it during the coronavirus outbreak.

The fire service have also announced all upcoming events have been postponed and to always call 999 if there is an emergency.

Businesses who have been propping fire doors open to minimise contact between staff and door handles have been advised not to this and continue following Public Health advice.

Rick Hylton, deputy chief fire officer, said: “We want to assure residents that we are taking the current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic very seriously.

“We have been working closely with our emergency service and local authority partners for the last few weeks and are continually monitoring the latest government advice.

“Staff are exercising good hygiene with washing and sanitising hands at locations across our County. We will continue to do this to ensure we are able to offer the highest level of service and to respond to emergencies as quickly as possible.

“Over the coming weeks and months we will continue look at how we provide our Service to the public, to ensure we minimise the risk to the public and our staff, while taking a proportionate response to the latest emerging information about the coronavirus."

If you are expecting a visit from Essex Fire and think you may be suffering from coronavirus symptoms or are self-isolating please let them know in advance by calling 0300 303 0088.

Alternatively, the service will always be available for home safety advice over the phone - call 0300 303 0088 to access this.

To stay up to date with Essex County Fire and Rescue Service coronavirus related updates visit their coronavirus page.