Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service has launched a major safety campaign ahead of the month of Ramadan.

The campaign encourages residents to be wary of fire safety and other issues during the month of fasting, prayer, and community.

Ramadan is expected to begin on 22 March and will last a month.  Ramadan is a time of fasting and reflection, with observers only eating and drinking during one meal before dawn (suhoor) and another after sunset (iftar).

The fire service said this set of circumstances – together with the cooking of traditionally deep-fried types of food – can unfortunately increase the likelihood of fires in the home.

Fasting can also sometimes result in lower concentration levels if any individuals are hungry, tired, and dehydrated. Together, these factors can further increase the risk of a fire.

Fire safety teams said they were working to highlight the dangers of fire at mealtimes. From education around loose-fitting clothing near to gas burners, to keeping cooking areas clear, and reducing the amount of deep-fried food, this messaging seeks to help people stay safe.

At the end of Ramadan, Muslims celebrate the festival of Eid al-Fitr. Some younger people have celebrated the occasion by renting high-performance vehicles. This has sadly led to some injuries and even deaths as many people are unused to driving such powerful cars.

Safety teams are now aiming to increase education around the potential dangers of high-performance vehicles. They are also communicating directly with the car hire firms that own these vehicles, encouraging them to make comprehensive checks as to who will drive the vehicle and how everyone can stay safe.

Last month, Blackburn Fire Station organised a launch event for the campaign. In attendance were the Mayor of Blackburn, Councillor Suleman Khonat, local imams, representatives of the Lancashire Council of Mosques (LCM), leaders of local women’s groups, and colleagues from partner organisations such as Lancashire Constabulary.

Area Manager John Rossen said: “We want to support everyone who is fasting for Ramadan, from our own firefighters and support staff right through to members of Lancashire’s diverse communities.

"You can help us by spreading those safety messages around fire in the home and on the roads. This can help to ensure everyone stays safe during the month of Ramadan.

“It’s fantastic to be able to meet community leaders, especially when they can help us reach at-risk groups with our important safety advice. As always, it’s been a pleasure to work alongside my colleagues in delivering the Ramadan safety campaign for 2023.

“We know that English is not the first language for some Lancashire residents, and we now have fire safety advice in Urdu and Gujariti, both in print and on our website.

“Our community fire safety team has also created some fire safety videos in British Sign Language (BSL), further increasing the campaign’s accessibility with high-risk groups. BSL is also widely understood by deaf people with Asian or Arab heritage, making these videos perfect for use during Ramadan.

“On behalf of everyone at Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service, I wish you a happy and safe Ramadan. Ramadan Mubarak!"

Key Ramadan safety messages include:
•    Take care when wearing loose-fitting clothing while cooking.
•    Never fill a pan by more than a third with oil.
•    Keep cooking areas clean and clear.
•    Turn off all hobs, grills, and ovens after use.
•    Check in with older or more vulnerable family, friends, and neighbours.
•    Do not rent a high-performance vehicle for those who are too young to rent them themselves.
•    If you have a fire at home, get out, stay out, and call us out.