Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) is wishing the Sikh, Hindu and Jain communities a happy and safe Diwali when the festival of lights begins this month.
Firefighters will be visiting the Milan Day Centre on Westgate Road at 10:30am and the Sikh Temple, Guru Harogobind Sahib Gurdawara on Highfield Road at 3pm on 23 October to deliver fire safety messages and hand out leaflets on how to ensure a happy and safe Diwali.
While the manner of celebration varies between regions, the essence of Diwali remains the same and often involves fireworks, candles, earthenware oil lamps (Divas) and cooking special meals for family and friends.
KFRS Principal Community Liaison Officer, Prithipal Kang, said:
“This is an important time for many in our community, we want to make sure that the Diwali celebrations on the 23 October are not disrupted due to fire and that safety remains a priority.
“One of the main themes of Diwali is knowledge over ignorance, so if you are taking part in the festivities to mark this special time please take a few minutes to understand how accidental fires can be prevented. Both Divas and candles have the potential to spread to soft furnishings if not handled correctly, so make sure they are fully extinguished before leaving the room. If you’re cooking with hot oil, only use the necessary amount and take the pan off the heat if you leave the kitchen. I would also urge people to keep in mind that long hair, and traditional clothing such as saris, can be extremely flammable.
“It's vital that everyone has working smoke alarms in their homes and that they test them before the festival gets underway”.
Follow these safety tips to help enjoy a safe Diwali:
Further free fire safety advice is available on this website, by calling (free from landlines) 0800 923 7000 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
- Use only enough ghee for a Diva to last your Puja and make sure that it rests securely on a heat resistant surface
- Keep flames at a safe distance from curtains, furniture, decorations and loose clothing
- When cooking with deep-fried food, dry it before you put it in the hot oil
- Never fill the pan more than one third full of oil
- Never throw water over a burning pan
- Fit smoke alarms on each floor of your home and test them regularly