DRAGONS are hoped to be the only source of fire this
Chinese New Year.
The Chinese year of the Dragon starts next week and Greater
Manchester Fire and Rescue Service staff are helping the Chinese
community celebrate the occasion safely.
Chinese New Year is on Monday, January 23, but most of the big
celebrations take place the following weekend.
GMFRS will be joining one of the largest annual events in
Manchester city centre, attracting people from all different
backgrounds and cultures.
One of the Manchester Community Safety Advisors Muz Iqbal and
some of the GMFRS volunteers will be in Chinatown at the stalls set
up for the occasion between 11am and 6pm on Sunday, January 29.
They will be on a stall with the Wai Yin Chinese Women Society,
who they have been working with in recent months on fire safety
workshops at the Wai Yin Centre on Swan Street.
As well as celebrating the New Year with a community they are
now beginning to build strong links with, the GMFRS staff will be
there to offer advice and support so people can enjoy the
Staff from the GMFRS Prevention team were at the Wai Yin Centre
this week for a presentation for those who participated in the
workshops and Assistant Chief Fire Officer Peter O'Reilly presented
learners with their certificates.
Assistant Chief Fire Officer Peter O'Reilly said: "We're
delighted to be involved in the New Year celebrations with the Wai
Yin Chinese Women Society in addition to the work we already do
with them and we want the community to enjoy events safely.
"There are a few small things that people can think about to
ensure they are only seeing us socially during the festivities -
rather than us having to respond and tackle a fire in their
"Our Community Fire Safety staff are always happy to speak to
any resident or business about how they can protect themselves from
fire and if anyone is any doubt, I'd urge them to come and see us
while we're around or get in touch with us on the phone or through
For a FREE Home Safety Check, during which firefighters give
advice on safety in the home and may fit up to two free smoke
alarms, please call 0800 555 815 or go to
For advice on celebrating safely - which includes
comprehensive advice on how to use Chinese flying lanterns
safely - please visit
Vital fire safety tips include:
- Fit working smoke alarms on each floor level in your home.
Consider fitting a 10-year alarm. Test the alarm once a week and
change the batteries every year.
- Treat fireworks with caution. Only buy fireworks that comply
with British Safety Standards and always read the instructions.
- Keep flames from candles at a safe distance from curtains,
furniture and decorations. Long hair and clothing are also very
flammable so be cautious of them around open flames.
- Keep candles out of reach of children and animals. Children
should be supervised at all times near candles.
- When cooking deep-fried food, dry it before you put it in the
hot oil. If the oil starts to smoke, turn off the heat and leave
the pan to cool. Never fill the pan more than one-third full of
oil. Never throw water over the pan.
- Avoid overloading electrical sockets.
- Make an escape plan so you and your family can leave quickly
and calmly in the event of fire and practise this with your
- Think carefully before using Chinese lanterns - remember once
lit and released there is no control over its direction or where it
lands and this could have very serious consequences.