Are you Diwali ready? Well, I am all set to celebrate the festival the way it is meant to be celebrated. Yes, you got it right! Celebrating it by igniting the diya of knowledge to overcome the ignorance that most of us succumbed to the festivities and fun around us. I mean enjoying the auspicious Diwali without compromising on my safety and that of my family members.
Like every great festival comes great responsibility of conducting the rituals right, decorating our homes and performing every task to please the deities. Safety is no different from a ritual in the eyes of any deity, as all they want is to see us happy and safe. With firework all around you, however, keeping yourself safe might seem complicated, especially when everyone is in full festive mood. In such a scenario, I feel preparing well-in-advance for our safety from firecracker injuries and burn accidents is the only solution.
As some festivities, unfortunately, may turn into accidents, I advise you to follow the critical fire safety precautions:
Preventive Measures: You must always remember that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Here’s why I am telling you this – Almost 1373 patients were rushed to the emergency burn care clinic during pre-Diwali, Diwali and post-Diwali days of 2002 to 2010 in government-sponsored Delhi hospitals alone. This statistic is based on a retrospective study of Delhi hospitals. So, make a note of the following things in your checklist for welcoming Diwali:
- Light and keep diyas away from burning surface, curtains or anything that quickly catches fire.
- Buy firecrackers from a licensed vendor and store them in wooden boxes or sealed containers made up of fire-resistant material of hard plastic. Storing them in a cardboard box or polythene may invite an explosion by just a spark of fire.
- Keep a bucket of sand and water handy to act spontaneously, in case something catches fire or sets ablaze. It may not control the burning accident but can certainly minimise the impact of the burn. You can also keep khadi blankets to extinguish the fire. The blankets are beneficial, especially when a person catches fire.
- Burn firecrackers in the open area only. Burning them in closed apartments or crowded areas may lead to an accident as apartments, lobby and staircases are likely to have electric devices, open wires or small children around.
- Avoid burning crackers if you are drunk. Drinking delays your capability to respond instantly, which may lead to slow movement away from the crackers after setting them on fire. It increases the risk of getting burnt.
- Wear cotton, denim or khadi clothes while you are enjoying the firework around you. These materials do not catch fire easily, unlike nylon, silk, polyester and other similar materials.
- Take special care of the senior citizens, children and pregnant ladies around you while burning crackers. Avoid the use of noisy firecrackers as they may lead to loss of hearing, high blood pressure and even heart attack in senior citizens or children.
First Aid: I recommend you to keep your first aid kit handy during the festival. The must-have in your kit includes antiseptic lotion and anti-inflammatory medicines. However, this is not enough if you sustain a severe burn. You must seek the help of a professional medical practitioner immediately after first aid. So, I would suggest you call 108 emergency care number to reach proper healthcare facility or hospital in no time. Besides all of this, it is vital to understand the degree of burn and how to deal with it.
Degree of Burn & Dealing with Burn Injuries:
I must inform you that most of the cases of burn reported during the retrospective study of Delhi hospitals include victims aged 5–30 years old and sustained less than 5% burn area of their total body surface. The degree of burn injuries in such cases have been low. So, the impact of it can be substantially reduced if you know how to deal with burn injuries. Don’t worry, I have mentioned a few tricks to deal with such burn injuries here before the emergency help reaches you:
- Place a wet towel over your burnt skin to ease yourself and then rush to the nearest clinic or call an emergency ambulance unit.
- Splash tap water on the affected area instead of ice water until the burning sensation is gone or reduced.
- Use non-adhesive dry dressing on burns between the fingers or toes as a first-aid to separate them.
- Don’t even attempt to take off the burnt clothing of the victim unless it comes off with ease. If the burnt clothing is tight, then it may cause more harm than the good.
- Eyes are more likely to get affected by the debris of the firecrackers. So, please ensure that your eyes are well protected with goggles and remember to consult an ophthalmologist for eye injuries.
- Make sure to call 108 Emergency Number to get Emergency Ambulance help from Ziqitza, if the burn victim is not breathing or have a severe degree of burn.
Now that you are well aware of how Diwali needs to be celebrated, I request you to make others aware of the same. Share this knowledge with your family and friends because sharing is caring! Wish you all a Happy & Safe Diwali this year and the years to come.