Diwali is known as the “Festival of the Lights”. Whilst 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 involve fireworks, candles, earthenware oil lamps (Divas) and cooking special meals for family and friends. This means that there is an increased risk of fire but by taking just a few simple precautions you can reduce the risks for yourself and your family.
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.
Smoke alarms save lives - so please make sure you have a working smoke alarm installed on every floor of your home. If there is a fire, a smoke alarm will immediately warn you, giving you and everyone in your home time to escape to safety.
If you or someone you know doesn't have working smoke alarms at home, we can fit them for free.
Always place candles firmly in a proper holder so they don't fall over and on a heat-resistant surface.
- Put out candles before you leave a room and before you go to bed
- Keep candles out of the reach of children and pets
- Keep candles away from ribbons, greetings cards and other decorations - these could easily catch fire
- Keep candles out of draughts and away from curtains, other fabrics or furniture, which could catch fire
- Keep candles away from clothes and hair - if there's any chance you could forget a candle is there and lean across it, put it somewhere else.
- Don't get distracted when you are cooking – turn your cooking off if you have to leave the kitchen
- Keep tea towels, clothes and electrical leads away from the cooker and hob
- Make sure saucepan handles are not sticking out from the hob or over a naked flame
- Remember to check that the oven or hob are switched off after you have finished cooking
- Take extra care when deep-fat frying or cooking with oil - hot oil can catch fire easily - use a thermostat-controlled deep-fat fryer which will make sure the fat doesn't get too hot.
If you are thinking of using fireworks as part of your celebrations, please follow the firework code.
Have you had a free home safety visit?
East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service offer free home safety visits to all residents living in East Sussex.
We have highly trained staff who will visit your home, help identify how you can live more safely and ensure your smoke alarms are in the best place and are working correctly. They'll also fit new smoke alarms completely free of charge if they are needed.
To arrange your free home visit, please :
- call us on 0800 177 7069
- or complete and return a Home Safety Visit Request Form.
- The form should be sent to Homefire.Safetyvisits@esfrs.org