The Islamic holy month of Ramadan has just begun. It is a time when Muslims the world over look to take part in this important, annual religious event which sees many within our communities fasting between sunrise and sunset. This year’s fast takes place at a time of year when the daylight hours are still getting longer with Eid due to fall around mid-June.
Cooking fires are the biggest cause of accidental house fires in Lancashire and throughout 2018 Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service are focusing on raising awareness of the issue with their Cook Safe 2018 campaign. Dinner time in many family households can be a chaotic time, with lots of activity around the home but for those observing Ramadan, cooking for large groups, at unusual times, especially when combined with fatigue can be extra challenging.
Jane Williams, Prevention Support Manager for Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service said; “ We want to wish all member of the Muslim community well during this very important time but also want to take the opportunity to stress the need to remain vigilant to fire risks in the home during this time too, particularly when it comes to cooking in loose clothing.
In previous years there have been several loose clothing fires within the Asian community resulting in some serious burns injuries and sadly one fatality. Whilst many of these incidents were as a result of standing too close to heaters it does highlight the issue around wearing loose fitting clothing near heat sources which in a kitchen could easily occur whilst cooking over gas hobs.
We want to ensure that people stay safe from fire and take into consideration the safety and wellbeing of both themselves and other members of their family.”
A few fire safety essentials to keep in mind are:
- Smoke alarms. Do you have one? Is it working? Do you know what to do if it goes off? Having a working smoke alarm is a great start to being fire safety conscious in the home but its vital everyone who is staying with you knows what to do if it goes off too. Plan your escape route and share it, so that in the event the worst happens everyone knows what to do.
- Loose clothing – keep it tied back. Clothing ignites easier than you may realise, so ensure scarves or long sleeves are a safe distance away from the hob. You should also ensure tea towels, cloths or electrical leads are a safe distance away from hobs too.
- Karrai dishes – avoid filling them more than 1/3 full with oil. When cooking with hot oil be vigilant. If the oil starts to smoke, do not add food. Turn the burner off and allow it to cool.
- Oversized pots – they can be handy when cooking for large groups of people, but using several oversized pots on a gas cooker can cause a build-up of carbon monoxide, which can be deadly.
For more information on fire safety in the home and indeed cooking fire safety tips you can visit our website at www.lancsfirerescue.org.uk/safety