If you haven’t celebrated Chinese New Year before, you’ll certainly be in for a treat if you decide to join the festivities in 2018. The 2018 Chinese New Year will fall on February 16 and is the longest and most valued celebration in the Chinese lunar calendar. The celebrations normally last up to two weeks (until March 2), and next year people will be celebrating the year of the Dog. The Chinese New Year is culturally significant as it marks the end of an old year, and a time to welcome new beginnings and hopes for happiness, prosperity, and good luck.
After spending some time in China during the New Year, it was a privilege to be welcomed into a home where family and friends spend time cleaning, cooking special meals, offering gifts, and having many celebratory drinks! You mustn’t forget to bring money though, as children from the neighbourhood will carry red envelopes for the customary tradition of receiving money as a sign of good luck.
As you can imagine, the risk of fires is significantly increased during times of prolonged celebrations since people can become easily distracted. Consequently, ensuring you have a fire extinguisher and taking other fire safety precautions is paramount for the safety of everyone.
Fire Safety Tips
Due to the length of celebrations during the Chinese New Year, it’s extremely important that you prepare your home for fire safety well in advance. Here are some fire safety tips that you should consider if you’re planning to celebrate Chinese New Years at your home:
1. Ensure you have working smoke detectors on each floor of your home
Smoke detectors are extremely important in alerting you to a fire before it has time to intensify and spread through your home. The risk of fire is significantly increased during celebrations, so ensure you test your fire alarms, replace the batteries every year, and never forget that smoke detectors only have a shelf-life of 10 years.
2. Never leave cooking unattended
Most household fires start in the kitchen simply because people leave the stove to attend to other tasks when time is of the essence. While it may sound straightforward, never leave cooking unattended, especially when children are present. If you don’t have one already, you should consider purchasing a fire blanket which is the most effective way of extinguishing a cooking/grease fire.
3. Keep candles out of reach of children and pets
We all know how difficult it can sometimes be to supervise children without eyes in the back of our heads, so if you wish to light candles to create a warm ambience for your party, just ensure they’re out of reach of children and pets. Remember to keep candles at a safe distance from flammable materials like curtains and decorations.
4. Never overload electricity sockets
Plugging too many appliances into one electricity socket is very dangerous since it can quickly overheat and cause an electrical fire. Try to remember that one socket should only fit one plug, and if you need to have more plugs connected to a single socket, use a fused adaptor.
5. Take great caution if you use fireworks
Fireworks are very dangerous and if you wish to use them, you must have a license and a garden hose or fire extinguisher nearby in case one goes astray. Children should never be allowed to play with fireworks and must be supervised at all times. Never point a firework at another person, and ensure everyone is at a safe distance when they are ignited.
6. Purchase a fire extinguisher for each level of your home
In the event that a fire does ignite during your Chinese New Year celebrations, a multi-purpose ABE Powder Fire Extinguisher will be effective at extinguishing almost all types of household fires, including electrical fires. Fire experts recommend that all homes should be equipped with an ABE Powder Fire Extinguisher on each level of your home.
By taking a few simple precautions before you kick off your Chinese New Year’s celebrations, you can substantially reduce the risk of a household fire. New Year’s celebrations are always fun for everyone, so long as everyone stays safe and welcomes the new year with good fortune and happiness.