From Firefighting Equipment to Historic Uniforms: Inside Essex Fire Museum

If you have a little person that loves the idea of being a firefighter then Essex Fire Museum is a great place to visit. The museum in Grays, Essex (near Lakeside shopping centre) showcases a collection of historic fire engines, firefighting equipment, uniforms and photographs documenting just how firefighting has changed and advanced over the years. 

Essex Fire Museum is open on Tuesdays and Thursdays 10.00am to 3.30pm, but the best time to visit is on their Family Fun Open Days which include themed arts, crafts and fun activities.  These normally take place on the last Sunday on the month and some Tuesdays in school holidays.

A stationary fire engine
Check out real fire engines at the Essex Fire Museum
Visitors can climb on board the fire engine and dress in fire gear

Three children in firefighting costumes sat on the back of a firetruck
Children will love exploring the fire engine and sitting on the truck like a real firefighter!

Visiting Essex Fire Museum

Why Essex Fire Museum is a good place to visit with children

  • It is free to visit.
  • It is lots of fun for vehicle and emergency services enthusiasts.
  • You can dress up as a firefighter and sit on the fire engine.
  • It is staffed by fantastic, passionate volunteers with plenty of knowledge.
  • Children will learn about fire safety and hazards within the home.

What is there to do at Essex Fire Museum?

The museum is small and staffed by volunteers, but school age children will find it interesting to explore. There are displays of household items that have started fires, potential fire hazards, old fire equipment and more. In addition to these exhibits the museum regularly holds open days where additional activities are available, including: 

  • Letter hunt within the museum area to find the letters to make a sentence - get a small prize on completion.
  • Fire safety room where visitors can identify hazards. Important knowledge for all ages-  for example- mirrors on windowsills, overloaded plug sockets etc.
  • Have a turn at spraying the fire hose! If this has been put away ask a member of staff at the ‘checking in’ stand when it will be back.
  • Observe a fire engine extend its turntable ladder.
  • Play with some fire engine themed toys.
  • Arts and craft table, these cost £2 for each craft.
  • Small pocket money stall with some fire service themed figures to purchase.

An exhibit showing burnt items at a Fire Museum
A selection of burnt artefacts at the Essex Fire Museum

A table of fire service themed arts and crafts
Fire service themed arts and crafts activities 

A rail of children's firefighter uniform costumes and box of yellow helmets
Children can dress up in the firefighter costume and helmet

A museum exhibit showing a hob with fire hazards
Can you spot the fire hazards in the home?

A child sprays a fire hose
Spraying the fire hose

A children's fire engine ride on toy
A fun ride for fire engine lovers at the Essex Fire Museum

A room in a museum full of fire service themed artefacts and exhibits including a firemans pole with mannequin firefighter
Plenty of fun and interesting exhibits to see at this small museum

A table with fire service themed merchandise including toy fire engines and helmets for visitors to buy
A pocket money stall if you would like to take home a memento of the day

What age children will enjoy visiting Essex Fire Museum

The museum will appeal to children from around 6 who are able to read the information and who have the patience to explore the information on display. The open days will suit a younger audience and children from 18 months upwards.  

What you need to know before visiting Essex Fire Museum

  • The Open Day dates are advertised on their website and Facebook page.
  • All visits should be prebooked, you can do this by emailing with the time and date you are interested in.
  • The museum is based on a working fire station, it is important to keep a close eye on children as vehicles regularly move in and out.
  • The museum is open 10am to 3pm on normal Tuesdays and Thursdays, and 10.30pm to 4pm on family fun open days.
  • Afternoons are normally quieter, last entry is normally around 2.30pm.

Is it suitable for pushchairs?

Most areas are suitable for pushchairs however they were not allowed in the small fire safety room and had to be left outside. Last Halloween they had a haunted house which was up steps so that wasn't suitable for pushchairs either.

Toilets and baby changing facilities

There are toilets available including a disabled toilet with baby changing facilities.

Is there food?

Food is not available on the regular museum opening days, but on open days there are snack foods on sale. With the larger summer open days they usually have food vans like ice cream and burger vans. 
There are benches where you can sit down and eat. You are also welcome to bring your own food.

Is it dog friendly?

Dogs are not allowed onto the site unless they are guide/ assistance dogs.

How to get to Essex Fire Museum where to park


Essex Fire Museum
Grays Fire Station
Hogg Lane
RM17 5QS


There is a small amount of parking outside the station. If this is full on busier open days you should be able to find street parking a few minutes walk away. 

What to do near Essex Fire Museum

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