Bucks Fire and Rescue Service issue safety tips for Chinese New Year celebrations

Chinese New Year officially began on Saturday 25 January and Buckinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service want ensure the festivities are happy and safe.

Monday, 27th January 2020, 3:47 pm
Updated Monday, 27th January 2020, 3:49 pm

Initiating the year of the rat in 2020, the celebrations take place over a number of days and bring with it a period of good luck and starting afresh.

Community safety manager Joanne Cook said:

“For many this is a time to celebrate the end of an old year and the beginning of a new one, and the celebrations can include cooking a special meal for family and friends.

Chinese New Year celebrations

“With people spending more time at home, cooking while entertaining or relaxing with family or friends, it is easy to get distracted and the risk of fire increases.

“More than half of all accidental fires in the home start in the kitchen, so please be extra vigilant when cooking, and never leave a pan unattended.

Other celebrations seen at this time can include fireworks, candles and lanterns.

Joanne added:

“We really do hope everyone has a lovely time, however we are keen to remind people that there are fire risks associated with fireworks, candles and lanterns, but also that there are simple precautions to help keep the celebrations safe.

“Remember not to leave candles unattended. Make sure tealights and candles are placed in proper holders, and put them out when you leave the room.”

Joanne has some top tips for indoor and outdoor celebrations to share with everyone:

Safety Tips For Indoor Celebrations:

- Don't overload electrical sockets and adaptors. Use Electrical Safety First's Socket Overload Calculator to make sure you stay within the limits.

- You should have a working smoke alarm on the ceiling of each level of your home, and test your alarms regularly.

- When using candles, never leave them unattended. Put them out when going out or going to bed. Be sure to place them in a proper holder, and keep flames away from curtains, furniture and decorations.

- Long hair and clothing are also very flammable.

Safety Tips For Cooking:

- When cooking deep-fried food, dry it before you put it in the hot oil. Never fill the pan more than one third full of oil. If the oil starts to smoke, turn off the heat and leave the pan to cool. Never throw water over the pan.

- Click on the picture at the top of the page to read or download the Fire Safety in the Home booklet in Chinese.

Safety Tips For Outdoor Celebrations:

- Treat fireworks with great caution. Only buy fireworks which have the CE mark, and always read the instructions. The firework code is available here in Traditional Chinese and Simplified Chinese.

- We recommend that you do not use sky lanterns as you have no control over them once they’ve been set off. If you do choose to set them off, be extremely careful and always follow the instructions that come with them.

- Don't use or light a lantern in windy conditions or if any part of it is damaged. They can rise to more than 1,000 feet, fly for up to 20 minutes and float for miles before landing. Sky lanterns can start fires, kill animals and litter the countryside so please think before you light!