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Reminder to celebrate safely as festivals approach

Published on Friday, October 30, 2020

Diwali divas

PEOPLE in Leicester are being reminded to celebrate safely this year as a number of festivals approach – particularly given the added challenges presented by coronavirus.

Usually at this time of year, the city council would be gearing up to host big events such as Diwali, Bonfire Night and the Christmas lights switch-on. However, this year these occasions will be marked differently.

For Diwali, people are being asked to join online celebrations by sending in their video greetings to family and friends. Traditional organised firework displays to mark Diwali and Bonfire Night will not take place in the city this year.

If people are choosing to have their own fireworks instead, Leicestershire Fire & Rescue Service is reminding residents to be cautious. Follow the firework code, only buy fireworks that conform to the British safety standard and are suitable for the size of your garden - and only buy fireworks from a legitimate supplier. Fireworks should never be let off on the street or in busy places, and it’s against the law to let them off after 11pm at night.

It’s also important to be aware of the potential fire risks from electrical items, candles, divas and cooking. Check smoke alarms, don’t overload electrical sockets, consider battery-powered candles and never leave cooking unattended.

Cllr Piara Singh Clair, deputy city mayor for culture, leisure and sport, said: “The coronavirus restrictions mean people across Leicester and beyond are having to celebrate differently this year, but it’s still important that people are mindful of keeping themselves and others safe, to ensure that everyone can enjoy this special time.

“We urge people not to stop following the measures that will protect them against coronavirus during any festivities. Mixing inside your house with people you don’t live with, who aren’t in a support bubble with you, is still not allowed, and could result in you or your loved ones contracting the virus.

“It’s never been more important to do everything you can to celebrate safely.”

Nick Stanborough, station manager at Leicestershire Fire & Rescue Service, added: “We urge everyone to be vigilant, keeping a watchful eye on candles, divas and cooking at all times, as well as being cautious when it comes to fireworks and bonfires to help avoid any risk to loved ones caused by fires.

“During periods of celebration, we ask you to help older relatives and neighbours to ensure their safety as they are at greater risk from fire. We want all our local communities to have a safe end to 2020.”

Celebrate safely this year by following the campaign’s top tips:

  • Make sure you have a working smoke alarm installed on each level of your home
  • Never leave cooking unattended
  • Don’t attempt to cook if you are under the influence of alcohol
  • Consider using battery powered candles
  • Keep candles out of the reach of pets and children, and away from decorations
  • Beware of fake electrical products
  • Don’t overload electrical sockets! If in doubt: one plug, one socket
  • When you go out lock your doors and windows, even if you’re only going out for a short time
  • Be discreet with your valuables
  • Never drive any vehicle under the influence of drink or drugs
  • Respect – be aware of your surroundings and each other.

For more in depth information about the campaign, useful safety tips and advice, visit www.celebratesafely.com.

ENDS