Tips for a happy and crime-free Diwali

Hounslow’s Community Safety Partnership Board (CSPB) is asking residents to follow a few simple tips to make sure this year’s Diwali festivities are free from crime and injury.

Published: Wednesday, 26th October 2016

Hounslow’s Community Safety Partnership Board (CSPB) is asking residents to follow a few simple tips to make sure this year’s Diwali festivities are free from crime and injury.

On Sunday 30 October, thousands of Hounslow residents will celebrate Diwali, commonly known as the festival of lights. As well as time where families and friends come together to celebrate, it can also be a time when thieves target homes looking for valuable gold.

Hounslow Police is warning residents to keep their belongings out of sight and, where possible, locked away securely. When wearing expensive jewellery outdoors officers recommend that this is kept out of view as much as possible.

Raj Kohli, police borough commander and chair of Hounslow’s CSPB, said: “Diwali is a hugely important event for millions of people across the world, including herein Hounslow. As part of the celebrations many people will understandably wish to wear their best – and therefore most expensive – jewellery.

“Sadly some criminals also look forward to Diwali (as they do Christmas) but simple tips will help prevent you becoming a victim of crime.

“When wearing expensive jewellery hide it as much as possible and try to avoid children wearing expensive jewellery.

“If you are taking items into or out of the bank, make sure you look around to make sure no-one is watching you and if you are not wearing or using the jewellery then lock it away.

“These simple steps will help make sure Diwali will be a peaceful and enjoyable time. Have a happy Diwali everyone.”

A large part of Diwali celebrations include the lighting of candles or divas, small oil-filled earthenware pots, as well as setting off fireworks.

Greg Ashman, Hounslow Fire Brigade borough commander reminded residents that sparklers burn at a scorching 800 degrees making them extremely dangerous, adding: “Last year we attended a number of incidents during Diwali which were caused by unattended candles, unattended cooking and misuse of fireworks.

“Please unsure you do not leave candles or cooking unattended or in within easy reach of children.”

Hounslow Fire Brigade are urging residents to follow these simple tips to avoid injury or fires:

  • All candles, including tea lights, should be put on a heat resistant surface, away from draughts and anything that can catch fire, like curtains, furniture or loose clothing.
  • Ensure fireworks come from a reputable supplier and comply with the British Standard. Always follow the instructions found on each firework and follow the Firework Safety Code.
  • Never leave cooking, especially hot oil, unattended.
  • If a fire does break out, get everyone out, stay out and call 999. Never go back into the property to collect belongings.
  • Make sure you have a smoke alarm. If you already have one, test it on a weekly basis to ensure it works.

Councillor Sue Sampson, Cabinet Member for Community Protection, Hounslow Council, said: “Diwali is a time for celebration but this happy occasion can be marred by burglary, theft or fire incidents.

These simple tips will ensure anyone celebrating Diwali does so safely.

“I wish all our residents a happy Diwali that is free of crime and injury and full of joyful celebrations.”