Seasonal fire safety

We are proud of our community in Surrey and want to make sure we support you with advice to celebrate religious festivals safely.

Diwali

Known as the Festival of Lights, we want to remind all those celebrating to do so safely. While the idea behind Diwali and type of celebration varies in different regions, the essence remains the same: to rejoice the Inner Light (Atma) or the underlying reality of all things (Brahman). Celebrations include fireworks, lighting candles and Divas, and cooking special meals for family and friends.

Follow these tips for a safe Diwali

  • Ensure you have a working smoke alarm on each floor of your home
  • Keep flames, candles and Divas at a safe distance from curtains, furniture, children, pets and loose clothing
  • Do not fill the cooking pan more than one third full of oil
  • Supervise cooking at all times
  • Never throw water on a burning pan. Get out, stay out and call 999
  • Never return to a lit firework, and always ensure you follow the instructions correctly
  • Keep pets indoors and ensure children are a safe distance away from fireworks
  • If using sparklers, ensure they are held at arms length and that you have a bucket of water to put them in when finished
  • Ensure you extinguish candles and divas when you leave the room, the house or go to bed

Ramadan

The holy month of Ramadan involves Muslims fasting in daylight hours and not eating or drinking for potentially up to 16 hours per day. During Ramadan it is common to have one meal just before sunrise known as the Suhoor, and one just after sunset, known as the Iftar. This means that cooking often takes place at night, so kitchen safety is especially important.

Follow these tips for a safe Ramadan:

  • Ensure you have working smoke alarms on each floor of your home
  • Take care when cooking with oil as it is easily set alight
  • Do not fill the cooking pan more than one third full of oil
  • Never throw water on a burning pan. Get out, stay out and call 999
  • Do not leave cooking unattended

Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year is the longest and most important celebration in the Chinese calendar. For many it's a time to celebrate the end of an old year and the beginning of a new one, at home and cooking special meals for family and friends.

Follow these tips for a safe Chinese New Year:

  • Ensure you have working smoke alarms on each floor of your home
  • If you plan to use fireworks, please ensure they carry safety standard marks, and follow all instructions
  • Never light a damaged firework, and never return to one once it has been lit
  • Only buy fireworks from reputable suppliers
  • We do not condone the use of flying lanterns, please find an alternative
  • Take care when cooking with oil as it is easily set alight
  • Do not fill the cooking pan more than one third full of oil
  • Never throw water on a burning pan. Get out, stay out and call 999
  • Do not leave cooking unattended

Christingle

Christingle is a celebration at Advent with candles to represent the light of the world.

Stay safe by:

  • A responsible adult should supervise children with Christingle
  • An adult should light and extinguish the candle
  • Ensure the candle is fitted into the orange firmly and can't be knocked
  • Ensure children with long hair have it tied back
  • Ensure a water supply and fire extinguishers are available should an accident occur

Sky lanterns

As part of any celebrations, we do not condone the use of sky lanterns. They can start wildfires, property fires, can kill or injure livestock, and pollute our environment. A fire caused by a sky lantern is likely to result in a large-scale incident, which could put lives and livelihoods at risk.

Please find alternatives to sky lanterns.

Candle safety

Candles are a common cause of fires at home. If possible, we ask that you swap out candles for LED alternatives to remove the risk of fire. If you are going to use candles and incense burners, please do so safely by following our tips:

  • Make sure to put out candles, incense and oil burners when you leave the room, and especially before bed.
  • Place them on solid surfaces in heat resistant holders
  • Keep them away from flammable materials such as curtains, furniture and clothes
  • Keep candles and naked flames out of reach of children and pets

Diwali, Bonfire night, Halloween and Christmas can see us light candles, dress up and display decorations - this increases the risk of fire. Make sure all decorations are kept away from naked flame and heat sources.

If you are celebrating with fancy dress, please always check that costumes are fire retardant and in line with safety standards. If your clothes or a costume does catch fire, please remember 'stop, drop and roll'.

  • Stop - don't run, you'll make the flames worse
  • Drop - lie down on the ground immediately
  • Roll - roll around on the floor to smother the flames

Fireworks and bonfire safety

Please visit our fireworks webpage for information on how to stay safe when using fireworks and bonfires.