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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Celebrate Safely This Diwali

09/11/2012

Staffordshire residents are urged to take care whilst they are celebrating Diwali by staying safe in the kitchen and using fireworks responsibly.

"We would encourage anyone taking part in Diwali celebrations to have a read through our safety advice."

Head of Risk Reduction, Glynn Luznyj

Diwali, the Indian festival of light, will be celebrated next week amongst Indian communities across Staffordshire.

The five day festival traditionally sees Indian families cooking a feast for all members of the family, exchanging gifts and often firework displays.

Head of Risk Reduction, Glynn Luznyj said: “We have diverse and multi-cultural communities in Staffordshire and expect to see a number of Diwali celebrations taking place across the county.

“Typically this will mean there will be firework displays and more cooking than usual in the kitchen, both of which could turn into potentially dangerous situations if safety advice is not followed.

“We would encourage anyone taking part in Diwali celebrations to have a read through our safety advice, which can be viewed in full on our website to ensure you celebrate safely.”

Some of the Fire Service’s celebrate safety tips for Diwali are:
Keep your family safe by following our cooking safety tips:
• Look when you cook! Never leave cooking unattended – take karahi/pans off the heat if you have to leave the room.
• Never fill the karahi more than one-third full of oil.
• If a karahi is smoking excessively, turn off the heat.
• Never throw water on a burning karahi. Turn off the heat if it is safe to do so, close the door to the kitchen and leave the house. Get out, stay out and call 999.
• Keep the oven hob and grill clean. A build-up of fat can easily catch fire.
• Clothes and scarves can easily catch fire while you are cooking. Make sure scarves and sleeves from shalwar kameez and saris are out of the way of the flames.
• When you have finished cooking make sure the cooker or oven is turned off.
Follow our safety advice when using these in your home:
• Never leave incense, diyas and candles unattended.
• Always use a holder or a burner.
• Burners and holders should always be put on a flat, non-flammable surface and away from windows.
• Keep incense, diyas and candles out of reach of children.
• As with cooking keep you clothing out of the way of the flames.
• When you have finished with an incense stick douse the tip in water and break it off. The remainder can then be relit later.

If you are using fireworks at your celebration please remember to follow the firework code:
• Only buy fireworks marked BS 7114.
• Don’t drink alcohol if setting off fireworks.
• Keep fireworks in a closed box.
• Follow the instructions on each firework.
• Light them at arm’s length, using a taper.
• Stand well back.
• Never go near a firework that has been lit. Even if it hasn’t gone off it could still explode.
• Never put fireworks in your pocket or throw them.
• Always supervise children around fireworks.
• Keep pets indoors.
• Don’t set off noisy fireworks late at night and never after 11pm.
Celebrate safely Diwali literature has been distributed to firefighters around the county to hand out.