Ethnic groups warned of festival fire hazard

The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister has hired BME specialist Media Moguls to warn of the risk of house fires during religious and cultural festivals.

MM will target black and ethnic minority press and radio in the run-up to the Hindu, Jain and Sikh festival Diwali, the Muslim festival Eid - which both fall in November - and Chinese New Year in February.

Agency MD Anjana Raheja said: 'The campaign focuses on safety around festivals where a lot of candles and fireworks are used and where there is a lot of cooking being done.

'There is always an increase in fires during this time, yet there is a low penetration of smoke alarms in the BME community.'

MM will also work with fire and rescue authorities to encourage activities, such as opening up stations to the public and visiting community groups to discuss fire safety and hazards.

The agency beat Media Reach Advertising to win the contract, overseen by the Central Office of Information. The COI is handling the wider campaign in-house, targeting a range of local and national media.

'The aim is to encourage the public to request the fire safety handbook,' said COI PR manager Kate Tonge.

The campaign is accompanied by a £1.5m television advertising drive, handled by Euro RSCG, which is running through September.

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