Fire safety advice for Chinese New Year

Published: 11th February 2010

Thousands of people throughout NSW will be celebrating Chinese New Year in the coming weeks, welcoming in new beginnings and hopes for happiness and prosperity.

As the most important date in the Chinese calendar approaches, the NSW Fire Brigades (NSWFB) is asking people taking part in celebrations to take care to avoid the risk of accidental fires or injuries.

NSWFB Commissioner Greg Mullins said that the risk of fire during major celebrations can be avoided if people follow simple fire safety precautions.

"The risk of fire can increase during major celebrations such as Chinese New Year, as people spend more time at home, cooking while entertaining, or celebrating the event with fireworks.

"The Chinese New Year festivities are very special, and we just ask that people take a few simple precautions that can greatly reduce the risk of fire and ensure that they can enjoy what is most important - welcoming in the Year of the Tiger," Commissioner Mullins said.

The NSWFB recommends the following to people taking part in celebrations:

  • Make sure your home has working smoke alarms that are properly maintained.
  • Fireworks can be dangerous.  To use them you must have a permit, and a hose or fire extinguisher should always be close by.  Ensure children are always supervised around fireworks.  Attend public displays organised by professionals.
  • Keep flames from candles away from curtains, furniture and decorations that may catch fire.   Also keep them away from wind or fans that could blow them over.
  • Children should be supervised at all times near candles or open flames.
  • If cooking oil catches fire, turn off the hotplate and slide the lid over the pan or use a fire blanket to smother the fire. Never use water for oil fires and never try to carry a burning pan.  Call Triple Zero (000) immediately if there is a fire.

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