We are used to seasonal warnings about safety issues – drink-drive campaigns at Christmas etc. but there is one holiday that often gets scandalously overlooked – St. Valentine’s Day. There are dangers lurking throughout the day on Feb 14th every year.
There are the obvious ones: forgetting about it altogether, getting the wrong present, getting too cheap a present, getting the wrong restaurant, yes it is a fraught occasion. But I’m here to talk to you about possibly the biggest threat of all, fire, in all its burning, furious, all-consuming passion.
Now bear with me, as this may not seem like the most obvious of problems, but believe me, the problem is real – in Norfolk last year, there was a 45% increase in emergency calls requiring the assistance of fire crews on St. Valentine’s Day compared to an average day – fire safety in Norwich, or anywhere else where love is burning for that matter, is a red-hot issue!
The only thing that should be smokin’ on the day is your outfit and the only burning should be coming from the passion between you and your dearest.
Let’s be honest, most women and some men really wouldn’t mind a hunk in a fire fighter’s outfit for St. Valentine’s Day, however it shouldn’t be because of your lax disregard for safety…
So, what exactly are the dangers?
- Candles: The biggest culprit here has got to be candles, and guys, I’m not complaining about those scented candles your better half is so beloved of overpowering you. We all know candles set the ambience, the air a fog of romance, a lighting level that flatters almost anyone. However, they are a massive fire risk, close to curtains, drapes or furniture. I once dated a girl who fainted after setting fire to the table by dragging her napkin over the candles in the centre of the table. Not her finest moment. Try fairy lights instead, just as romantic, but fire safety approved!
- Men: Not men literally, although I’m sure all you guys out there are hot stuff, but more specifically I’m talking about men in the kitchen. For many men, living on their own, they live off pizza and pop tarts and rarely venture into the kitchen. Feb 14th is the one day men are practically obliged to get in the kitchen and prove their culinary prowess. Many do us men proud, many however, do not. Nervousness, romantic distraction and the like can all lead to a lack of vigilance where fire safety is concerned: burnt food, setting the kitchen on fire, billowing smoke are just some of the problems fire crews are faced with annually. And as it is the 21st century I will expand this point out to any inexperienced culinary trailblazer with a blowtorch looking to perfect that crème brulee. Have a fire blanket and a suitable home fire extinguisher to hand at all times.
- Women: as above, not literally! However, too much perfume, hairspray or make up are real fire hazards if you get too close to the aforementioned candles. Burnt hair is never a good look girls. And as above, as it the 21st century, I shall expand this point out for the metrosexual men out there. Easy on the cologne there tiger, as the alcohol in scents is highly flammable.
It is of course, always good to remind people of the need for absolute vigilance when it come to fire and safety. But St. Valentine’s Day, when everyone’s passions should be running hot, is a timely reminder to people to take care and be safe. Make it a night to remember, but unlike a moth to a flame, your love you should burn forever, not just for one night.
Ingunn writes about different types of safety training in Norwich.
Happy Valentine’s Day!