Diwali Safety Tips
Diwali is thoroughly enjoyed by people of all age groups as they love the splendor and sparkle of fireworks. The earthen lamps that we light on Diwali night are generally placed on balcony and window ledges. So ensure that these are not near any flammable material like wood, cloth or paper. Usually, decorative lights are used on special occasions only and as such not much care is given to one's life. The electric lights should never be tied to any metal poles as any current leak can energize the pole and give a shock to anyone who touches the pole.
All accidents due to fireworks occur as a result of carelessness, negligence and ignorance. But these can certainly be avoided by observing some very simple precautions. All of us enjoy the pleasure of light and sound but when disaster strikes the injured has to bear the cross. If you're going to set off fireworks at home this year, please take a few minutes to read through the guidelines.
Store your fireworks safely:
In a closed box, somewhere cool and dry, out of reach of children and animals and away from all sources of heat, until the time they're needed. Locked away is best. Don't keep the box under the stairs or in a passageway.
Pets hate bangs and flashes:
Pets get very frightened on fireworks night, so keep all your pets indoor and close all the curtains to make things calmer. Remember it's not just your own fireworks that cause distress, so you may have to have your pets indoors on several nights when other displays are taking place.
Think ahead and be prepared:
Before you start, make sure you'll be giving yourself enough room in a safe place to get to and from your box of fireworks while the display is going on. Have a full bucket of water handy for any emergency, and for putting used sparklers into. If you have the chance to get together with some other families, try to go to the home with the biggest open space and safest surroundings.
Never try to re-ignite the fireworks that don't light in the first instance. Never give ANY firework item to small children. Never throw fireworks at another person. Never carry fireworks in your pocket. Never shoot fireworks from metal or glass containers. Never experiment, modify, or attempt to make your own fireworks.
Watch what you wear:
Loose clothing can very easily catch fire, and should not be worn near any fire or fireworks. Long dangly scarves can be risky too. If anyone's clothing does catch fire, follow the rule: Stop - Don't run. Drop to the ground. Roll to put out the flames.
One at a time please:
You (or another adult that you choose) must be the only person letting off fireworks. Don't allow anyone else - especially children - to do so while your display is going on. Let the fireworks off one at a time (not lots at once) and don't rush. Light the tip of each firework at arm's length, using fireworks lighter or fuse wick. Stand well back immediately. If one doesn't go off, don't go back to it - it could still be live, and could go off unexpectedly on your face. Right at the end of your fireworks night, douse the 'duds' with lots of water, keep it soaking in a bucket of water. Never throw left over fireworks onto a bonfire.
Different fireworks mean different hazards:
Read the instructions on each one carefully (by flashlight, never an open flame) and follow them properly. Rockets, for instance, should be launched from a rocket launcher, not from a bottle. Sparklers need careful handling - light them one at a time at arm's length; don't give one to any child under 5 years of age; make sure that anyone holding a sparkler wears gloves; and put each spent one into a bucket of water as soon as it's gone out.
No fooling:Putting fireworks in your pocket is stupid and dangerous. Throwing fireworks at people is stupid and dangerous and illegal; it's a criminal offense to do so.
Fireworks and booze don't mix:
Drinking alcohol presents an added danger when there are fireworks and bonfires around. So don't drink during your fireworks display.
Watch that person:Keep children well away from fireworks, and never let a child handle or light one. Even sparklers can be dangerous if unsupervised! Do not give sparklers to a child under five. Make sure that children are aware of the dangers.
Don't light flying fireworks if there is a heavy wind.
Never take unnecessary risks while lighting fireworks, just to show off. Pool your pocket money and have a professional perform pyrotechnics for the benefit of many
Dos & Don'ts While Bursting Crackers:
- Use fireworks only outdoor.
- Buy fireworks of authorized/reputed manufacturers only.
- Light only one firework at a time, by one person. Others should watch from a safe distance.
- Keep the fireworks to be used at a safer place.
- Organize a community display of fireworks rather than individuals handling crackers.
- Always use a long candle/'phooljhari' for igniting fire crackers and keep elbow joint straight to increase the distance between the body and the crackers.
- Keep two buckets of water handy. In the event of fire, extinguish flame by pouring water from the buckets. Every major fire is small when it starts.
- In case of burns, pour large quantity of water on the burnt area.
- In case of major burns, after extinguishing the fire, remove all smoldering clothes. Wrap the victim in a clean bedsheet.
- The patient should be taken to a burns specialist or a major hospital. Don't panicky.
- In case of eye burns, wash the eye with tap water for 10 minutes and take the victim to a hospital.
- Don't ignite fireworks while holding them.
- Don't bend over the fireworks being ignited.
- Don't ignite fireworks in any container.
- Don't approach immediately to the misfired fireworks.
- Don't tamper with misfired fireworks.
- Don't attempt to make fireworks at home.
- Don't allow small children to handle fireworks.
- Don't throw or point fireworks at other people.
- Don't carry fireworks in the pocket.
- Don't store firecrackers near burning candles and diyas.
- Don't light firecrackers in narrow by lanes; preferably use open areas and parks.
- Don't wear synthetic clothing; preferably wear thick cotton clothing.
- Don't wear loosely hanging clothes; secure all clothes properly.
- Don't apply any cream or ointment or oil on burnt area.
- Don't drive recklessly while taking a burn victim to the hospital; a delay of up to one hour is immaterial.