News release text
Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) would like to wish everyone about to start celebrating the Chinese New Year, a happy and fire safe time.
The Chinese year 4712 – the Year of the Horse – starts on Sunday, 31 January with celebrations spanning up to two weeks and is the most important of the Chinese holidays.
KFRS Partnership Manager, Pirthipal Kang, said: “The New Year festivities are very special to Chinese communities because they represent a fresh start in life and bring fresh hopes for happiness and prosperity.
“The risk of fire can increase during major celebrations. People spend more time at home, cooking while entertaining, or celebrating the event with candles, fireworks and Chinese lanterns. Following some simple safety tips may help reduce the risk of fire in your home and ensure you enjoy welcoming in the New Year safely.”
Vital fire safety tips include:
Fit working smoke alarms on every floor of your home and test them weekly.
Treat fireworks with great caution. Only buy fireworks that comply with British Safety Standards and always read the instructions.
Think before you launch Chinese fire lanterns. They may look pretty but can fail and come down early while the fuel for the lantern itself is still burning, sparking a blaze.
Never leave candles burning unattended, if you leave the room make sure they are properly out. Keep them out of reach of children and animals. Place candles in a proper holder and at a safe distance from curtains, furniture and decorations. Keep your hair and clothing away from the flame.
Never leave cooking unattended. 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 and don’t throw water over the pan.
Avoid overloading electrical sockets. Try to remember, one plug - one socket. If you must have more plugs connected always use a fused adaptor.
Make an escape plan to enable you and your family to leave your home quickly and calmly in the event of fire and practise this with your children.
Firefighters from Thames-side fire station will be talking to people about home fire safety during a school parade on 4 February, while KFRS community safety officers will be at the Woodville Halls in Gravesend, letting people know about the services KFRS offers.