The Diwali sugar overload and dark warnings have swung back again for your annual consumption. Various government, parastatal and private organisations have already created lists of what you can do, what you can’t, and what you shouldn’t. And these are relevant to every reveller in every city and town, as the nation gets ready to celebrate the annual festival of lights.
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Let’s look at the yearly log book of safety rules, along with other tips that have been handed down over the years like grandma’s homilies.
- Keep a blanket and a bucket of water or sand nearby as a first aid for anyone who gets burnt.
- Hope that you never use either blanket or bucket.
- Throw used crackers into cans to keep them from hurting anyone.
- Shop for crackers from licensed shops.
- Make your own firecrackers — even if you are great at it.
- Store firecrackers and bombs in closed, non-flammable containers.
- Read all the instructions and rules before you burst the crackers.
- Keep sparklers, fire bombs and matches at an arm’s distance from your body. And other bodies too.
- Teach children how to keep Diwali safe.
- If you’re a child, then get your friends and companions to pool the fire-crackers, so that you can light them in a group – and more safely. That lightens everyone’s pocket and you get value for money.
- Light the cracker only one at a time. The rest of the group can watch, which is fun too.
- Use strong footwear when you go to burst your crackers.
- Keep your bodies away from bombs while lighting them. Do not use your face as an experimental device to check out the combustibility.
- Ensure that an adult is near your group of children. Adults are boring but they come with money attached, and can get you more crackers and sweets.
- Burst crackers in open spaces that are nowhere near homes or people.
- Burst your firecrackers far from hospitals and nursing homes.
- Light your bombs only when you are not with infants, aged or sick people in the house.
- Set off crackers and bombs only when there no animals nearby.
- Keep pets safely inside the house.
- Lock your vehicles away, in case they get burnt.
- If you do get burnt, splash ordinary tap water on the affected areas of the body.
- If your clothes catch fire, roll over the ground.
- If some cloth seems to stick to burnt areas of the body, do not try to peel it away.
- Wear long, loose clothes with fire-licking tongues.
- Try out shiny synthetic or silk clothes, but go with drab cotton.
- Store firecrackers near any flame or source of heat, such as welding lamps, gas cylinders or kitchens.
- Unpack these explosives near the source either. You know what happens, right? And if you don’t – then there is no need to find out.
- Swagger or light crackers to show off your bravery. There are other ways to do that – and they’re better.
- Keep bombs in your pockets. You never know when something small might not set them off.
- Let children light crackers inside the house.
- Let children light crackers outside the house either! Hang around them and see that they are safe.
- Permit anyone around you to light crackers near combustible materials.
- Use matches and lighters when you want to burst crackers. These devices have open flames, after all, and they are quick and excitable.
- Bend over the fire bombs or pots when you light them. Why should you, when you can see them from afar?
- Go back to check out if a bomb is lit when it isn’t exploding. It might, soon, and it won’t feel nice.
- Set off firecrackers that are in metal containers.
- Hold flower pots when you light them. You do get a first feel of something new, but that might even be your last.
- Launch rockets, preferably. Let’s leave that to ISRO.
- Set off rockets under high obstructions above your head, such as trees or wires.
- Drink before you get into the act. It might not be so much fun after all.
However, in spite of every single act that you did and didn’t follow, if you still see or experience a fire accident, then call up the Fire Control Room at Number 101.
Do stay informed about the hospitals in your city that are best equipped to deal with emergency burn injuries. For example, St John’s and Victoria Hospital are the only two hospitals in Bengaluru that have Burns Wards. Which are the ones in your city?
Rush for them if you have to. But better still, never do anything to rush to them. Remain safe and load on the sweets. It happens only in Diwali. Happy festivities to all.