Celebrate Chinese New Year safely!

Chinese New Year celebrations start this Saturday (January 28) and typically continue for around two weeks.

The New Year represents a major event in the Chinese calendar which brings families together for traditional celebrations, often focused around food and dance.

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (WYFRS) hopes the Year of the Rooster will be a lucky and safe one for everyone!

New Year celebrations traditionally culminate in a lantern festival. Whilst we don’t wish to put a dampener on festivities, the fire service does not advise that people light lanterns as they can be a fire risk should they fall back to earth whilst still ignited.

They can also pose environmental hazards and potential harm to livestock should animals eat debris which falls to the ground.

If you are planning on cooking up a treat for a gathering also take heed of our top cooking safety tips as most fires in the home start in the kitchen. Also make sure that any lit candles are in proper holders, away from any combustible items.

We wish everyone a very happy and safe New Year or Kung Hei Fat Choy!

Fireworks and the law

  • Chinese bangers and Chinese crackers are banned in the UK.
  • You can’t buy adult fireworks under 18.
  • Fireworks must not be set off after 1am on Chinese New Year.
  • You can only buy fireworks, including sparklers, in the three days up to and including Chinese New Year.
  • Category 4 fireworks can only be used by a professional.

For more information on the law see https://www.gov.uk/fireworks-the-law 

Candles

  • Always ensure candles are safely out of reach of children and animals.
  • Ensure lit candles are kept at a safe distance from soft furnishings, loose clothing and hair.
  • Place candles on a heat resistant surface and be especially careful with night lights and tea lights, which can get hot enough to melt plastic.
  • Put candles in a proper non-combustible holder so they don’t fall over.
  • Put candles out with a snuffer or a spoon – sparks can fly if you blow them out.

Sky lanterns

Trading Standards has a Sky Lanterns Industry Code of Practice which can be viewed online. WYFRS also has a leaflet on sky lanterns which can be found on our website, here.

Smoke alarms

  • Make sure there is at least one smoke alarm on every level of your home.
  • Test your smoke alarms by pushing the button every month.
  • Check that your smoke alarms are less than 10 years old.
  • Fit smoke alarms on landings, hallways and near bedrooms. Also consider placing them in rooms which have an electrical appliance, such as a heater. However, beware of fitting a smoke alarm in locations where it will be falsely triggered, for example, by a toaster or steam from a shower.
  • Take a moment to check on your loved ones who may require help to ensure they are fully protected.

Cooking safely

  • Don’t be distracted when cooking and never leave cooking unattended.
  • Keep tea towels and cloths away from the cooker and hob.
  • Don’t cook when under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

If you have any concerns book a free Home Fire Safety Check online via our website www.westyorksfire.gov.uk or call 0800 5874536. Alternatively pop into year nearest fire station to make arrangements.

For more safety tips follow us on Twitter @WYFRS or see our official Facebook page www.facebook.com/westyorkshire.