News release text
Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) will be taking to the streets this weekend to help those celebrating the Vaisakhi festival to do so safely.
Vaisakhi (also spelled Baisakhi) is one of the most important days in the Sikh calendar, marking the start of New Year and commemorating the birth of Sikhism as a collective faith. It is also a long established harvest festival in the Punjab, with celebrations including parades, dancing, and singing taking place throughout the day.
Gravesend has one of the most established Sikh communities in the country, and to mark the occasion, a procession which starts and ends at the new Gurdwara Guru Nanak Marg will take place on Saturday 12 April. KFRS’s community engagement officers will be providing vital safety advice throughout the event and encouraging people not to leave cooking unattended while celebrating.
KFRS Principal Community Safety Officer Pirthipal Singh Kang said: “The Vaisakhi procession in the town is an excellent opportunity for us to talk to local people and we will be on hand to give helpful advice about how to prevent fires not only in the home but also for those cooking celebratory meals in Gurdwaras and Mandirs during the festival.”
“Vaisakhi is a time of great celebration and we hope lots of members of Kent’s Sikh community will come down to see us on Saturday.”
He added: “We are especially urging people to ensure they have a working smoke alarm fitted on every floor of their home and to test batteries weekly.”
You can help to keep your family safe during Vaisakhi by following these simple tips:
Keep naked flames at a safe distance from curtains, furniture and decorations. Long hair and clothing (especially chunris/chunis, Sari, and dupattas) are also very flammable.
Never leave karahis and pans unattended on the cooker.
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.