Safety First

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Diwali is thoroughly enjoyed by people of all age groups. Diwali is marked by the splendor and sparkle of fireworks. However, 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. This article discusses a few safety measures to be taken while deploying fireworks on the occasion of Diwali.

Dilwai, the festival of light, joy and prosperity. 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.

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 indoors 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). 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 around:
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.

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