Date: 6th November, 2023
Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service would like to make sure everyone stays safe while celebrating Diwali this year.
Diwali is known as ‘festival of the lights’ and it leads to an increase in the use of divas or oil lamps. It is believed that light signifies goodness; therefore, various lamps are burnt throughout the day and into the night to ward off darkness and evil. The festival also features fireworks.
By taking a few simple precautions, anyone celebrating Diwali on 12 November can make sure that they keep themselves and their families as safe as possible.
The Fire & Rescue Service has some useful advice:
- Make sure all candles and divas are in a safe and secure holder and that all tea lights are placed on a heat resistant surface.
- Keep candles and divas away from soft furnishings, including curtains, and out of the reach of young children.
- Special care should be taken with home-made decorated candles and divas to ensure that the flame does not come into contact with anything which could catch light. Long hair and clothing (especially saris, chunris, chunis and dupattas) are also very flammable.
- Candles should not be left unattended at any time – care should be taken when retiring to bed or while attending prayers.
- Never ‘daisy-chain’ extension leads or adapters – daisy-chaining involves plugging one extension into another in order to reach further or plug more appliances in, and creates a huge fire risk.
- Ensure that all fireworks meet British safety standards – store them in a metal box, read the instructions, never go back to a lit firework and keep a bucket of water nearby.
- When cooking during the festival, don’t leave the stove unattended.
- If a fire does break out, follow the simple rule of getting everyone out, staying out and calling 999. Never go back into the property to collect belongings.
- If you don’t have a smoke alarm, please use this festival as the ideal opportunity to get one. They are inexpensive and easy to install, and they give you an early warning to get out of the property in the event of a fire.
Prevention Delivery Manager Vikki Thomas said: “We want everyone to have an enjoyable Diwali and stay safe at the same time. Sadly, we have had fires in the past caused by Diwali candles and daisy-chained extension cables that have caused real devastation. By following our advice, you can keep your family and home as safe as possible from the risks posed by fire.”
More advice on staying safe this Diwali can be found at www.dwfire.org.uk/diwali