Fire service urges care during Diwali

FIRE CHIEFS are calling on Hindus to take care with candles and cooking when celebrating Diwali.

The festival of lights — which takes place next Thursday, October 19 — is one of the religion’s holiest days.

It signifies the triumph of light over darkness, good over evil, knowledge over ignorance and hope over despair.

Hindus celebrate the holiday with cookery and candles — both common causes of house fires.

Oil lamps and fireworks can also causes hazards, which the fire service said could easily avoided by taking a few simple steps:

  • Always place lamps and candles on heat-resistant surfaces, well away from curtains and decorations.
  • Children and pets should be supervised at all times near flames.
  • Never leave cooking unattended.
  • If oil catches fire in a pan then get out of the kitchen, close the door and call 999.
  • 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.

South Yorkshire Fire Service area manager Steve Helps said: “We recognise this is a really important time for many people in South Yorkshire, but want to make sure people observe it safely.

“In particular, people should take extra care with candles, which we know are responsible for some of the most severe house fires we attend.

“Basic precautions like keeping candles away from flammable materials will help you and your loved ones to celebrate safely.”