Fire Service shares advice to celebrate Diwali safely
Essex residents planning on celebrating Diwali are being urged to take extra care and do so in a fire safe way.
The celebrations, known as the “festival of the lights” often involve fireworks, candles, earthenware oil lamps (Divas) and cooking special meals for family and friends.
The advice comes as winter months 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.
Neil Fenwick, Area Manager - Operational and Strategic Support at Essex County Fire and Rescue Service said: “We want everyone to stay safe while celebrating Diwali and by taking a few simple precautions, you can help to reduce the risks for yourself and your family.
“If you’re going to be cooking, make sure to keep an eye on it at all times and if you need to leave the room, take pans off of the heat.
“Take care if you’re wearing loose clothing – this can easily catch fire and be sure to keep tea towels and cloths away from the cooker and hob.”
Each year, candles are the cause of more than 300 injuries across the UK, most of which can be easily avoided. With lights and candles a main focus of the celebrations the Service has urged people to think about how they can safely use them.
Neil adds, “Put candles in secure holders, keep them well away from any decorations or materials that can catch like curtains. Never leave candles in an area where they can be easily knocked over or where you’d be likely to lean over them at any point.
“And never leave candles burning unattended. If you need to leave the room, blow your candles out first - it’s just not worth taking the risk.
The Service 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.
“Only buy fireworks that are marked with the CE mark and make sure to follow the instructions for each firework.” says Neil.
“Light the fireworks at arm’s length using a taper and stand well away from the area while the fireworks go off. Never return to a lit firework, even if it hasn’t gone off, it could still explode.”
Page last updated 3 November, 2021