Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service will always discourage the use of candles or diyas. However, we understand that diyas are an integral part of many religious practices.
If you are going to use a diya, candle or oil burner, please observe our list below to ensure that you use them in the safest possible way:
- When constructing a shrine please consider where the diya will be placed and make sure they are positioned away from other elements that could be flammable.
- Always place candles, diya or oil burners on a stable, heat resistant surface. Wherever possible a proper holder should be used
- As diyas have a liquid fuel and a floating wick there is an increased risk of serious fire if they are knocked over.
- Burn diyas in a well-ventilated room, out of drafts, vents or air currents. This will help prevent rapid or uneven burning, soot, and dripping.
- Don’t let anything fall into the oil or ghee. Broken bits of matches etc. can act as a second wick and significantly increase the flame height and temperature.
- Keep them away from draughts and anything that can easily catch fire like furniture or curtains
- Never light diyas when you are tired or sleepy.
- Don’t move diyas once they are lit
- Do not overfill the lamp, only use as much ghee as is needed for the ritual.
- If you’re going out, put it out. Never leave lit diya unattended. Put burning diyas out when you leave the room, and make sure they’re out completely at night.
- Keep them out of the reach of children who may want to play with them and out of the reach of any animals who may knock them over
- Don’t lean across lit diyas - you could set fire to your clothes
- Use a ‘snuffer’ or a spoon to put out diyas. It’s safer than blowing them out, which can send sparks and hot ghee flying
- Never allow a diya to boil dry. Depending on the type of burner, it could break - or even catch fire in some cases
- Make sure that everyone in your home knows what to do if a fire should occur– practise your escape route
- Always have working smoke alarms fitted throughout your home and test them regularly
You can request a free home fire safety check by contacting your local fire and rescue service or phone 0800 169 1234.