Essex County Fire and Rescue Service

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Celebrate Chinese New Year Safely

The most important date in the Chinese calendar takes place on january 31 and families will be holding celebrations throughout Essex to usher in the year of the Horse.

But while celebrations are going on it is important to take some simple precautions to ensure that all those enjoying themselves are safe from the risk of fire.

Divisional Officer Neil Fenwick said: “We want everyone to have a happy and enjoyable Chinese New year but to be aware that at times of celebration, when more cooking takes place and extended families come together under one roof people are often too busyy celebrating to pay attention to the risks posed by fire.

“Fireworks are also an important part of the celebrations and they, of course, pose their own risks.

“We understand that the New Year festivities are very special to the Chinese communities,as it is a period of good luck and starting afresh, but by taking just a few simple precautions you can greatly reduce the risks for yourself and your family.”

  • Fit working smoke alarms on each floor level in your home. Consider buying an alarm with a ten year battery, otherwise change the battery every year alarm and test all alarms once a week.
  • Treat fireworks with great caution. Only buy fireworks marked with British Safety Standard 7114 and always read and follow the instructions.
  • At all times, keep flames from candles at a safe distance from curtains, furniture and decorations. Long hair and clothing are also very flammable. Keep the flame out of reach of children and animals. Children should be supervised at all times near flames.
  • When cooking deep-fried food, dry it before you put it in the hot oil. If the oil starts to smoke, turn off the heat and leave the pan to cool. Never fill the pan more than one-third full of oil. Never throw water over the pan.
  • Turn off and unplug all electrical appliances unless they are designed to be left on - like your freezer or DVD for example.
  • Avoid overloading electrical sockets. Try to remember, one plug - one socket. If you must have more plugs connected always use a fused adaptor.
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