Have a safe start to the Chinese New Year

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Fire chiefs have warned anyone celebrating the start of the Chines New Year on Friday to be careful with lanterns.

The Chinese New Year will see celebrations taking place this Friday to mark to start of the Year of the of the Horse.

New Year festivities traditionally extend from the final day in the last month of the Chinese calendar to the 15th day of the first month, culminating in a Lantern Festival.

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service would like everyone to celebrate safely during this period, and take heed of their top tips.

Ian Bitcon, Area Manager for Fire Safety, said: “Flying lanterns can be very beautiful but they are a fire risk and we strongly recommend people don’t use them. There have been quite devastating fires caused by them and it is only a matter of time before life is lost.

“If you insist on using them, take extra care and ensure you read the manufacturer‟s instructions. Also only use products that meet the EU standards.

“We would like to see the Chinese New Year brought in safely by all so please take care whilst celebrating.”

The authorities tips include:

• 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. Children should be supervised at all times near flames.

• Be careful with fireworks and make sure you read the instructions before use. Never use fireworks unless they display „British Safety Standard 7144.

• Do not overload electric sockets. If you must use more than one plug per socket, ensure you use a fused adaptor

• Never leave cooking unattended. If you are deep frying ensure you only fill the pan one-third full of oil or less. If the pan begins to smoke, turn off the heat. Never throw water over the pan.

• Make sure that each floor level in your home has a working smoke alarm. Test the alarm weekly to ensure it is working and change the batteries regularly.

To book a free Home Fire Safety Check online visit www.westyorksfire.gov.uk/contact#safety-check or contact your nearest fire station.