The Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service have issued advice to ensure those wishing to celebrate Chinese New Year do so in a safe and responsible way.

The festival marks the beginning of the new year in the traditional Chinese calendar. Today marks the start of the Year of the Pig, the twelfth of the zodiac animals. It is often celebrated with fireworks, flying lanterns, candles and other decorations.

To ensure a safe celebration, the service have issued the following advice:


• Always put candles in proper holders on heat resistant surfaces

• Ensure you keep the flame at a safe distance from curtains, furniture and decorations

• Keep long hair and clothing away from naked flames

• Always supervise pets and children around candles


• Only buy fireworks marked BS 7114

• Don’t drink alcohol if setting off fireworks

• Keep fireworks in a closed box

• Never go near a firework that has been lit – even if it has gone off, it could still explode

• Never put fireworks in your pocket or throw them

• Light them at arm’s length, using a taper

• Never give sparklers to a child under five

• Stand well back

• Always supervise children around fireworks

• Light sparklers one at a time and wear gloves


• Ensure festive lights you purchase carry the British Safety Standard kitemark sign

• Don’t attach decorations to lights or heaters

Flying Lanterns

• Keep water nearby in case they accidentally catch fire

• Ensure they’re let off a long way away from obstacles

• Do not launch near roads, especially major roads and motorways

• Consider wind direction and strength

• Ensure lanterns are only set off by responsible adults