Advice to celebrate Diwali safely
Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service is encouraging people to celebrate safely during the up-coming Diwali celebrations.
Whilst Diwali is a time that sees many families come together to celebrate, it can also bring an added risk of fire. With an increase in the use of candles, fireworks and traditional oil lamps, the Service is issuing advice to help everyone to enjoy the festivities safely.
The information comes as winter months also often see a rise in candle and cooking fires, many of which are avoidable, but can cause devastating effects during a time of family and celebration.
Known as the ‘Festival of Lights’, Diwali is a bright and vibrant occasion, but it is important to make sure that all candles are in a safe and secure holder, and placed on a heat resistant surface, away from soft furnishings and out of the reach of young people and pets.
Extra care must be taken to ensure they do not come into contact with anything which could catch fire, such as decorations, hair and loose clothing. Candles should not be left unattended at any time, make sure you put them out safely before you leave a room or go to bed, or consider using LED candles instead.
If you are cooking special meals for family and friends during the festival, do not leave cooking unattended and limit distractions. Remember to always ‘look when you cook’ and if you do need to leave the room, make sure you take any pans off the heat. Also be cautious when deep-fat frying or cooking with oil, as hot oil can catch fire very easily.
The Service also recommends people attend organised fireworks events to reduce the risk of fire but if you are going to use fireworks as part of your celebrations at home, please follow the Firework Code: Bonfire night safety (staffordshirefire.gov.uk)
Head of Prevent, Protect and Partnerships, Ian Read, said: “We wish everybody celebrating a safe and happy Diwali.”
“By taking just a few simple precautions you can reduce the risks for yourself and your family, but most important of all, make sure you have a working smoke alarm on every floor of your home, and test it weekly!
“If there is a fire, a smoke alarm will immediately warn you, giving you and everyone in your home time to escape to safety.
“Our ‘fire safety in the home’ leaflet is packed with useful advice and has also been translated and produced in a variety of language formats. It is available to download from our website.”