News release text
Next week marks one of the most important festivals in the Sikh calendar, Vaisakhi and Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) will be doing its bit to ensure celebrations go off safely.
Vaisakhi is a joyous, colourful occasion, marking the start of a new year and is a long established harvest festival in the Punjab. It also commemorates the birth of Sikhism as a collective faith.
Gravesend has one of the most established Sikh communities in the country and KFRS’s community engagement officers will be providing vital safety advice to those taking part in the procession through the town centre on Saturday, 13 April.
KFRS’s Partnership Manager, Samantha Jones, 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 in the home.”
To mark the festival, members of the Sikh community in Gravesend will be taking part in the procession which starts and ends at the new Gurdwara Guru Nanak Marg.
KFRS Principal Community Safety Officer Pirthipal Singh Kang said: “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 the community 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