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 Holistic Health

September 2009
15 Tips for a Safe Deepavali
Dr Sreedevi Yadavalli
Diwali is loved by all for the splendour and sparkle of fireworks. However, this sparkle of lights and fireworks can be hazardous if proper caution is not exercised. We offer some tips to ensure that you enjoy a safe and enjoyable Diwali.

Isolate earthen lamps from flammable material
Earthen lamps are generally placed on balcony and window ledges. So ensure that these are not near any flammable material like wood, curtains flying in the breeze, clothes hanging in the balcony, paper placed on window ledges etc.

Securing coloured electric lights
Do not tie the electric series lights used for festooning to any metal poles as any power leakage from faulty insulation can energize the pole and prove hazardous for those who come in contact with the pole.

Store your fireworks safely
Store your fireworks in a cool and dry place, out of reach of children and pets, and certainly away from all sources of heat. Access them only when needed.

Pets hate bangs and flashes
If you have pets, take care not to frighten them with the fireworks. Keep them indoors so they can stay calm.

Give yourself adequate room
Earmark an open space for the fireworks display. Give yourself adequate room to get to and from your box of fireworks.

Handle fireworks with caution
  • Never buy crackers from a shop unless it is a reliable, trusted, licensed one.
  • Never try to re-ignite fireworks that don't light in the first instance.
  • Never carry fireworks in your pocket.
  • Never hold fireworks in your other hand while you light one of them with one hand.
  • Never throw lighted fireworks into the air.
  • Never shoot fireworks from metal or glass containers.
  • Never experiment, modify, or attempt to make your own fireworks.
  • Never give ANY firework item to little children, and strictly supervise older children.
  • Never throw left over fireworks or 'duds' into a bonfire.
  • Never light bombs or rockets with an open flame like a lighter or candle. Use an incense stick.
  • Never attempt to light a bomb or rocket from your hand. Follow the instruction by placing them in the open.
  • Never keep your face close to the cracker you're attempting to light.
Keep water and first aid handy
Keep a first aid kit handy. Also, have a full bucket of water handy for any emergency, and another for putting used sparklers into.

Watch what you wear
Though it is customary to dress in traditional finery for the festive occasion, it would be sensible to change into something more practical before the fireworks display. Wear cotton, and ensure that it isn't something loose and flowing because loose clothing can easily catch fire when sweeping against lamps or sparks from fireworks.

Keep away from overhead electric lines, trees and plants
Do not light aerial fireworks like rockets under overhead electric lines and trees, and do not light any fireworks close to plants; the heat will sear the leaves.

Keep away from vehicles
Park all vehicles away from the area earmarked for the fireworks display, and ensure that all windows to cars are closed. Train children to light fireworks away from vehicles.

Do not use closed parking areas
If you are using the parking lot for the event, ensure that it is an open one. Do not use basement areas of apartment complexes, or other closed areas.

One at a time only
Let the fireworks off one at a time and not several at one go. Do not rush in. Light the tip of each fireworks item from an arm's length, and stand well back immediately.

Keep windows and other doors closed
Except for the front door, keep all other doors and windows closed. This is to prevent rockets and other crackers that may fly in and cause a fire.

Keep balconies, backyards and open spaces around the house litter-free
Remove clothes hung for drying from balconies and backyards to prevent them from catching fire from flying sparks or rockets. Also remove any flammable litter from lying around in the open areas around the house.

Lead children by example
Lead by example for children by following all precautions. Be vocal about these precautions, and read them aloud to children so they know their importance, and treat this like a check list for future Diwali celebrations.  


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