PEOPLE celebrating Diwali are being urged to light candles safely.
The annual Hindu celebration, known as the festival of lights, is usually marked with lighting oil lamps, candles or ‘diyas’.
It is believed the light signifies goodness, so lamps are burned during the day and into the night to ward off darkness and evil.
This year Diwali takes place on Wednesday, October 26, and people will also celebrate with fireworks and by cooking special food.
Station manager Ian Wadmore, pictured, part of the community safety team at Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: ‘This time of year is a very special occasion for the Hindu, Sikh and Jain communities, and we don’t want to dampen spirits.
‘It is not only Diwali, as we also see an increase in fires in the home during other festive occasions – all too often safety comes second to celebration.
‘I would especially urge the celebrating community to ensure they have a working smoke alarm installed on every floor of their homes and test the batteries weekly. By taking just a few simple precautions you can greatly reduce the risks of death and injury for yourself and your family.’