Celebrating safely

Celebrating safely - Party Safety Advice

Whether you're celebrating a birthday party, New Year's Eve or a religious festival, stay safe when you have people in your home by thinking ahead.

  • Fit a smoke alarm. You can do this for free and have a fire safety check on your home by booking a Safe and Well visit
  • If you have guests staying the night, make sure they know how to escape safely
  • Let guests know of any features they may not be familiar with e.g. how to open the front door
  • Tell guests where the door and window keys are kept
  • Take particular care of elderly people, children and people with disabilities
  • If you discover a fire in your home, raise the alarm and let everyone in your home know - get out - stay out and call 999

Chinese/Sky Lanterns – Safety Advice

Traditionally used in Chinese and Thai celebrations, Chinese / Sky Lanterns have been used for thousands of years - it was believed that wishes written on lanterns would rise up to the heavens.

As they become more popular for celebrating weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, Diwali, bonfire night or any other special events, we would like to offer the following advice to help you stay safe.

With no control over the actual flight path once lit and released, the end destination cannot be predicted. There is no guarantee that the fuel cell will be completely out and cooled when the lantern eventually descends and any contact with a flammable surface could result in a fire developing.

To help prevent damage to you, your family and property here are a few guidelines;

  • Consider the risk of fire caused by incorrect handling, fuel remaining, or changes to the recommended flight or weather conditions
  • Water or other extinguishing facility should be available at the launch site, as lanterns or clothing may ignite if the correct launch procedures are not followed
  • Keep the launch area clear of flammable materials
  • Children and other observers must maintain a safe distance upwind of the launch area
  • Two adults are required to correctly launch each lantern
  • Do not attempt to launch damaged lanterns - be aware that writing messages on the paper can cause damage
  • Do not smoke whilst handling lanterns
  • Ensure sufficient clearance to avoid obstacles such as trees, power lines or buildings
  • Avoid launching near roads, especially major roads or motorways
  • Avoid crops, especially in dry conditions
  • Avoid areas where confusion may arise with distress signals
  • Do not launch within 5 miles of any airport
  • Do not launch in wind speeds in excess of 5 mph
  • Check wind direction before launch
  • Be aware of any other local conditions that could affect launch or landing safety such as thatched buildings, crops or dry heathland
  • Do not tie anything to the lantern to as this may cause instability which could lead to the lantern igniting

We would ask people to think carefully before using Chinese/Sky lanterns – remember once lit and released there is no control over its direction or where it lands, and this could have very serious consequences.

Pesach - Safety Advice

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) wants everyone celebrating to have a joyful and safe holiday during the Pesach period. To help prevent damage to you, your family and property here are a few safety tips to consider;

Smoke alarms

  • Fit a smoke alarm in every level of your home. You can do this for free and have a fire safety check on your home by booking a Safe and Well visit.
  • Test the batteries in your smoke alarm every week and change them every year – never remove them.
  • Install a smoke detector in each room where candles are being used.

Preparing the kitchen for Pesach

  • Take great care when using aluminium foil. Foiling a gas hob is extremely hazardous as it limits the burning of the flame and creates dangerous levels of Carbon Monoxide in your home.
  • Do not use aluminium foil in the microwave.
  • Install a Carbon Monoxide detector.

Candle safety

  • Fit smoke alarms in all rooms where candles are used.
  • Make sure the candle is standing up right and is firmly fixed in a candle holder to avoid it falling over and catching fire.
  • Always place candles on a heat resistance surface.
  • Keep candles out of draughts, blowing curtains and sources of heat or direct sunlight.
  • Always leave at least 10cm between two candles and never place them under shelves or other surfaces.
  • Extinguish candles before they burn into holders.
  • Burn call candles well out of reach of children and pets.
  • Always put candles out before you move them. 

In case of fire whilst cooking

  • Don't panic and don't take risks.
  • Don't move a pan which has caught fire.
  • Never throw water or use a water fire extinguisher on a hot fat fire.
  • If it's safe to do so - turn off the heat, but never lean over the pan to reach the controls.
  • Leave the kitchen, close the door behind you, tell everyone else in the home to get out and don't go back inside for any reason.
  • Remember pikuach nefesh: call 999.

Electrical safety

  • Check electrical cables before use. Do not use any appliance such as a hotplate or water heater if the cable appears damaged.
  • Keep electrical leads and appliances away from water.
  • Check the hotplate is clean and away from curtains and kitchen rolls.
  • Turn off electrical appliances when they are not being used.
  • Don't overload sockets - only use one plug in each socket.
  • If you have to use more than one plug per socket, use a fused adaptor and keep the total output to no more than 13 amps.

Bedikat chametz

  • Keep candles away from flammable objects; be especially careful near curtains, tablecloths, beds and sofas as these types of items are easily ignitable.
  • Supervise children, closely, at all times.
  • Do not leave candles unattended; make sure to extinguish them when you are finished.

Burning chametz

  • Use a designated outdoor area, clear of combustibles and located well away any structures.
  • Use extreme caution when lighting a fire and never use any type of accelerant (e.g. paraffin or petrol) to increase the flame.
  • An adult should constantly attend to fires, never leaving them unattended. Always make sure children are supervised.
  • Have a fire extinguisher or a garden hose connected to a water supply, readily available, to extinguish the fire, if necessary.

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