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Fire Safety Warning for Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year Firework Celebration

Chinese communities across Cambridge are being offered fire safety advice as they prepare to celebrate the Chinese New Year, which begins next Sunday (14 February 2010).

The year of the tiger will see people spending more time at home - cooking while entertaining or relaxing with family or friends. Sadly, this can lead to an increase in the number of fires.

Wendy Coleman, Community Safety Advisor for Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service said: "The new year festivities are very special to Chinese communities as it is a period of good luck and starting afresh.

"By taking just a few simple precautions you can greatly reduce the risks for yourself and your family. I would especially urge anyone celebrating the Chinese New Year to ensure they have a working smoke alarm installed on every floor of their home".

As the most important date in the Chinese calendar, Chinese New Year or Lunar New Year represents a fresh start in life and brings fresh hopes for happiness and prosperity. However, whilst celebrating the festival, take these simple precautions and avoid the risk of fire to yourself and your family:

  • Fit working smoke alarms on each floor level in your home. Consider buying a ten-year alarm - otherwise test the alarm once a week and change the batteries every year.
  • Treat fireworks with great caution. Only buy fireworks marked with British Safety Standard 7114 and always read the instructions.
  • At all times, keep flames from candles at a safe distance from curtains, furniture and decorations. Long hair and clothing are also very flammable.
  • Keep the flame out of reach of children and animals. Children should be supervised at all times near flames.
  • When cooking deep-fried food, dry it before you put it in the hot oil. If the oil starts to smoke, turn off the heat and leave the pan to cool. Never fill the pan more than one-third full of oil. Never throw water over
    the pan. If you do have a fire, get out of the house and dial 999, don't attempt to fight it yourself.
  • Avoid overloading electrical sockets. Try to remember, one plug - one socket. If you must have more plugs connected always use a fused adaptor.

Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service can help you design a fire plan so that you and your family will know how to react if you have a fire. The Service also offers FREE Home Fire Safety Checks, which is where a member of the fire service will visit your home, give individual fire safety advice and fit smoke alarms where needed.

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