Fire warning over festival of lights

PEOPLE are being urged to be aware of the dangers of fire as they take part in an annual religious festival.

The festival of Diwali, also known as the festival of lights, which is celebrated by Hindus, Jains and Sikhs, got under way yesterday.

Diwali involves lots of candles, tea lights and fireworks being used, and fire chiefs are encouraging families to be careful as they mark the festival.

Les Jones, Cleveland Fire Brigade’s head of community safety, said: “This religious festival is a busy time as families and friends get together and lots of candles are lit and left to burn overnight,

“All of these ingredients increase the risk of fire in homes, as it is easy to get distracted with all of the festivities going on.”

People are urged to treat the candle as any other flame and shouldn’t leave it unattended.

Fire chiefs also say that candles and other burning materials should be kept away from furniture, curtains, long hair and clothing and out of the reach of children.

Residents can get a free home safety fire visit by calling (01429) 874063.