Diwali, in the way the festival is celebrated, can create a very unsafe environment. Although the festival itself is enlivening and creates an atmosphere of euphoria, few of the Diwali rituals are potentially harmful for the environment, people and animals. Unfortunately, every year many accidents involving injury to people and animals and damage to properties are reported during the festival period. Further, research has revealed that the risk of fire significantly increases during the 5 days of Diwali celebrations.
Fireworks are a major cause of many concerns. From noise and air pollution to the risk of burning oneself and others, fireworks can cause serious injuries and damage to people. The main day of Diwali records the highest decibels of noise pollution and significant increase in air pollution. Even the burning candles and oil lamps kept inside and outside the houses are potential fire hazards.
Diwali is an occasion of celebration but safety comes before any celebration. By observing few safety measures, we can make Diwali a safer festival and avoid unfortunate accidents.
Safe handling of fireworks
- Cover yourself with full sleeves and long pants. Avoid wearing synthetic and nylon clothes as they catch fire easily. Do not wear free flowing or very loose clothes.
- Wear shoes to protect your feet.
- Wear ear plugs and hand gloves.
- Keep your pet indoor and safe.
- Do not buy cheap homemade firecrackers. They are extremely dangerous.
- Chose an open location outside the house and free of flammable substances to burn crackers. Do not burn cracker on busy roads or on roadsides or in the middle of a road.
- Keep all your firecrackers in one place, away from all sources of fire.
- Ensure that people around are at safe distance from the firework.
- Light firecrackers from a one arm distance.
- Do not carry firecrackers in your pocket.
- Avoid burning more than one cracker at a time.
- Young children should be kept away from fireworks altogether.
- Children wanting to burn fireworks must be supervised by an adult.
- Do not light fireworks, while holding them with your bare hands.
- One should move away quickly after lighting a cracker. Waiting to verify if the cracker has lit is dangerous.
- If a cracker doesn’t burn after being lit, do not go back to light it again as it could still explode.
- Store away burnt crackers in one place away from people. They might be hot after burning out, so be careful and make people around aware of it.
- Aerial display fireworks like rocket bomb should always be lit on wide open grounds and away from people and houses.
- Do not point aerial fireworks towards people or building.
- Burning firecrackers under the influence of alcohol can be dangerous.
- Finally be prepared for emergencies – keep fire extinguishers or water readily available in case there is a fire; keep a first aid box; keep emergency numbers handy.
- Use LEDs or other electrical light sources to light up your house inside and outside. There are many decorative lights of different designs and colors readily available in the market and are cheaper and safer than the traditional oil lamps.
- If you must burn the traditional oil lamps or candles, ensure that they are placed in safe locations in the house, not easily accessible to children. Do not forget to put them out before going to bed.
Diwali is the most anticipated festival of the year and observing a few basic safety measures will ensure that the celebration of light remains a jubilant and spectacular event of the year.