News release text
With Diwali, the Festival of Lights, taking place on the 3 November, fire crews in Kent are reminding Sikh, Hindu and Jain communities celebrating the festival to do so safely.
While the idea behind Diwali and the manner of celebration varies from region to region, the essence remains the same; to rejoice in the Inner Light (Atma) or the underlying reality of all things (Brahman). Celebrations often include fireworks, the lighting of candles and small earthenware oil lamps called divas and cooking special meals for family and friends.
KFRS Principal Community Liaison Officer, Prithipal Kang, said: “This is a special time for many in our community and we want to ensure that safety remains a priority throughout the celebrations.
“Divas and candles have the potential to cause serious fires if not used correctly so make sure these are extinguished before you leave the room. When cooking with hot oil always remember to watch your cooking carefully and remove pans from the heat source if you need to leave the kitchen. Keep in mind that traditional clothing, such as saris, and long hair can also be very flammable.
“I would also like to remind those celebrating to ensure they have a working smoke alarms fitted on every floor of your home. When the festival gets underway you may forget to do this so test alarms beforehand to help keep your friends and family safe.”
Follow these safety tips to help enjoy a safe Diwali:
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 homer and test them regularly.