Cheshire firefighter offers Ramadan fire safety tips
A Cheshire firefighter who is celebrating the holy month of Ramadan sends out a fire safety message to local communities.
Firefighter Usman Akhtar will be marking the festivities with his family and friends and wants to encourage everyone to enjoy the tradition safely together.
On 6 May, Usman and the Muslim community started fasting. This means they refrain from eating or drinking between sunset and sundown for 30 days.
The firefighter is asking that people who are fasting ensure they cook safely when making large meals during the early mornings or late at night.
The reason fasting is important for Muslims is because it is believed to be the month in which the first verses of the Holy Quran were revealed by Allah (God) to Prophet Muhammad.
Ramadan is also one of the five pillars of Islam. In the Arabic language, fasting is known as Sawm. Muslims arise early in the morning during Ramadan to have a pre-dawn breakfast meal, known as Suhoor. At the end of the day, the fast is completed by taking the Iftar meal, which usually includes dates, fresh fruits, appetizers, beverages and dinner.
Usman said: “As many fires in the home are started by cooking it is important that those taking part in our religious tradition do so safety.
“There are a number of hazards which exist when cooking around Ramadan, ranging from pans filled with hot oil, loose flowing clothing and distractions such as children in the kitchen area while food is being prepared, so it’s important that people take care and celebrate safely.”
Follow these simple fire safety suggestions to help keep you and your family and friends safe this Ramadan:
- Never leave your cooking unattended, and take care when deep frying food.
- Never fill the pan more than one third full of oil. If the oil starts to smoke turn off the heat and leave the pan to cool. NEVER THROW WATER OVER THE PAN.
- When cooking, take care with long hair and loose clothing
- Most importantly make sure you have a working smoke alarm, test it regularly and plan an escape route.
Finally, if a fire does break out, get out, stay out and call 999.
Nick Evans Head of Prevention at Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service said: “I would like to wish Usman, his family, friends and all the Muslin communities in Cheshire, Halton and Warrington a very happy and safe Ramadan.
“It’s an important time in the Islamic calendar but we want to ensure that people observe it safely. By following these few simple precautions, you can greatly reduce the risks to yourself and your family of having a fire in your home.
“I would especially urge everyone to have a working smoke alarm installed on every floor of their home. If there is a fire, a smoke alarm will immediately warn you, giving you and everyone in your home time to escape to safety. I would also encourage families to have an escape plan in place so that everyone knows what to do in the event of a fire breaking out.”
After the end of Ramadan, a very festive and joyous holiday is celebrated by Muslims, known as Eid al-Fitr, the festival of breaking the fast. On the day of the Eid, Muslims attend special congregational prayers in the morning, wearing their nicest clothes
After the completion of prayers and a special sermon, Muslims rise to greet and hug one another, saying “Eid Mubarak,” which means “Holiday Blessings.”