Deepawali: Festival of Lights & Crackers, Celebrate but be Safe

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By Kshvid News Desk with inputs from agencies

Diwali, the festival of lights, is just around the corner, and preparations for the festivities have already begun. The festival is a celebration of light triumphing over darkness, good triumphing over evil, and knowledge triumphing over ignorance. People also express their excitement by firing firecrackers, in addition to lightings, sweets, and gifts. However, amid all the joy and excitement, one must remember to take some safety steps to ensure that the happy occasion does not turn into a tragic memory. Every year, we hear about someone being harmed or having an accident while lighting firecrackers. Various state governments, including Maharashtra’s, have now urged citizens to exercise caution and refrain from using fireworks, according to sources at Kshvid News. Medical specialists feel that the government made the right approach in requesting that people refrain from using crackers. Many people still have questions about what precautions they should take because the pandemic’s shadow lingers big. Kshvid News contacted two top doctors in the city for their opinions on the matter of Diwali in India.

“While Diwali in India celebrates people coming together as a united community, the threat of a fourth pandemic wave remains a major concern. As a result, it is critical to exercise adequate caution and care to enjoy the festival of lights without jeopardising one’s health or safety. Dr Arunesh Kumar, Senior Consultant and Head, Pulmonology, Paras Hospitals, Gurugram, said, “It is also important to take basic preventive steps to avoid any form of mishap or harmful impacts on health during Diwali.”

“With Diwali approaching, we must be aware of the resulting increase in pollution levels, both outdoors and indoors, and accordingly prepare ourselves.” Even while the majority of attention is normally focused on pollution in public settings, we must remember that pollution levels in our homes can be up to 5-times higher, posing a threat to our respiratory, cardiac, and immune systems. Air pollution has become even more deadly in recent years, as it has increased the risk of coronavirus transmission by a factor of ten. If one cannot avoid crackers entirely, non-polluting Diwali celebration goods such as green and eco-friendly crackers and diyas should be used instead. We must avoid doing so because we also tend to explode crackers in enclosed spaces. For religious activities inside our houses, use eco-friendly incense sticks and combustive materials, as they contribute to indoor air pollution. Improve ventilation as much as possible inside the house, and consider planting air-purifying indoor greens, but their impact is limited.

The greatest choice, however, is to install a high-efficiency air filtration unit in our houses that can handle not just Diwali-related pollutants that are harmful to our health, but also ensure that we continue to breathe healthy, purified air in our homes after Diwali.” Magneto CleanTech’s CEO, Himanshu Agarwal, commented.

Here are some safety measures from experts on how to celebrate Diwali to the fullest:

  • Use Green Firecrackers

Green firecrackers are free of dangerous chemicals that can pollute the air. These firecrackers contain components that are less toxic and less destructive to the environment.

It does, however, have a moderate loudness. However, to protect the environment, individuals should choose these green firecrackers.

  • Wear Cotton Clothing

Silk, nylon, polyester, and other similar fabrics readily catch fire, thus cotton, denim, or Khadi clothing should be preferred.

  • Fire Crackers in Open Areas

Bursting crackers in a closed or densely populated location might be hazardous. Sparks from crackers have been reported to have burned down houses or resulted in the death of people. As a result, it is best to avoid bursting crackers in confined spaces or near electrical equipment.

  • Firecracker storage should be Safe

Firecrackers should be kept in a closed and safe place because they are prone to catching fire. As even a single spark of fire might cause an explosion, these should be stored in airtight containers made of hard plastic or wood.

  • Keep the First-Aid Kit ready

While burning crackers, keep a first aid box with bandages, antiseptic cream, and anti-inflammatory drugs accessible. So that if someone gets a burn or is hurt, they may utilise the first aid box right away and obtain medical care right away.

  • Before Lighting Diya/Candles, DO NOT USE A SANITISER

Before lighting your diyas or candles, avoid using alcohol-based hand sanitisers.

Sanitisers are combustible and can result in a fire. Before performing anything that involves fire, experts recommend that you wash your hands with soap and water.

  • Sanitiser Should Be Kept Away From Fire

Sanitiser bottles are commonly found in homes, and individuals have begun to keep them on hand during the Covid-19 outbreak.

 However, because most sanitisers contain alcohol, they can readily catch fire. As a result, keep your sanitiser bottles in a secure location.

  • Remember To Keep Water On Hand

Instead of bringing sanitisers with you, consider bringing water and paper soaps. They’re safer because you can wash your hands anywhere without risking catching fire.

  • Physical Distance Must Be Maintained

The purpose of the celebration is to bring people together and strengthen ties. However, over the holiday season, attempt to acclimate to the new normal by avoiding physical contact. Right now, the ideal approach to welcome someone is with a Namaste. This year, it is suggested that you celebrate Diwali by staying home.

  • Resist The Urge To Eat Outside

Even though there is no proof that Covid-19 may be transmitted through cooked food, it is advised that people avoid eating outside during the holiday season. This is not only because of the risk of Covid-19 but also because outside food can induce other stomach illnesses, lowering your immunity and affecting your overall health. Also, for a festival, nothing beats a home-cooked, traditional supper.

  • Remember To Bring Your Mask

It’s crucial to be responsible and take the necessary safeguards. Covid-19 necessitates the use of a mask. As a result, remember to cover your nose and mouth whenever you leave the house.

Doctor Jai Mullerpattan, Consultant Respiratory Diseases, PD Hinduja Hospital and MRC, concurs that remaining home during Diwali is preferable. In an interview with India Today TV, the doctor stated that there is no proof that the Covid-19 virus survives or multiplies in the presence of smoke. Second-hand smoke, which is emitted through cigarettes, automobiles, and crackers, can cause problems for those who have respiratory problems, as well as those who do not. Excessive exposure to smoke can put a person at risk, and there’s a larger chance of acquiring respiratory symptoms like coughing, wheezing, or a burning sensation in the eyes, according to him. A person may also have symptoms such as a fever on rare occasions.

“If a person already has asthma, a damaged or irritated respiratory system, or other lung-related problems, they are more likely to be affected. This could be caused by the Covid-19 virus, as well as other viruses and bacteria. Smoke-emitting objects can cause issues for the “Jai Mullerpattan, a doctor stated. If you have a lung disease or are elderly, the senior doctor advises that you self-regulate and stay indoors to avoid direct exposure to the smoke released by crackers.

  • Get COVID Vaccinated

It is critical to get vaccinated regardless of whether or not one has previously been exposed to COVID-19. People who have been fully immunised appear to have superior protection than those who have received COVID-19. Even if a person tests positive for the COVID-19 virus, COVID-19 immunizations can assist them to avoid becoming extremely ill. Getting vaccinated may also protect others, especially those who are at higher risk of serious disease from COVID-19.

Do’s and Don’ts

Arun Khazanchi, president of the Fire and Safety Association of India, has provided some do’s and don’ts for a safe Diwali. – Source Kshvid News:

Do’s

  • Before bursting firecrackers, look for open space and ensure there are no combustible and inflammatory things around. If so remove them at once.
  • Always buy fireworks from licensed and reliable sellers.
  • Keep small children away from the bursting area – Use a sparkler, agarbatti (incense stick) or long firewood to light a cracker as they keep you at a safe distance and do not possess a naked flame.
  • Read the label on the crackers and follow the instructions carefully.
  • While igniting aerial fireworks like rockets ensure that they are not facing any opening like an open window, door or an open building which may cause fire accidents
  • Keep your fireworks supply hidden while lighting a specific firework – Wear shoes while lighting fireworks.
  • Have a bucket of water on hand when igniting fireworks
  • Be prepared in the event of an emergency – Instead of individuals handling crackers, organise a community display of pyrotechnics.
  • Have first aid supplies and gallons of water available.
  • In the event of a fire, pour water from the buckets to put out the flames. Every huge fire begins small.
  • Only one firework should be lit at a time, by one person. Others should keep a safe distance.
  •  In the event of burns, a significant amount of water should be poured into the damaged region. After extinguishing the fire, remove any smouldering clothing in the case of significant burns. Using a clean bed sheet, wrap the victim.
  • Transport the patient to a burns specialist or a major hospital. Don’t panic
  • If you have eye burns; simply wash your eye for 10 minutes with tap water and transport the victim to the hospital.

Don’ts

  • Wearing nylon clothing is not recommended. When bursting crackers, use cotton instead of matches or lighters because they have open flames that can be dangerous.
  • Never ignite aerial fireworks (like rockets) if there are any overhead obstructions such as trees or wires 
  • When bursting crackers, use cotton instead of matches or lighters because they have open flames that can be dangerous.
  • Never experiment with crackers or build your fireworks.
  •  Never light a cracker in your hand.
  •  Avoid bursting fireworks on roadways Make sure you put it down and light it.
  • Don’t try to light it with your face close to the cracker.
  • Never throw firework items at people.
  • Never try to burst crackers indoors or from inside a vehicle
  • Never have a firework in your pocket while igniting another.
  • Do not tend to burst crackers when someone else is trying to ignite one
  • When crackers take the time or do not ignite immediately, do not try to burst them. Get to a safe location as soon as possible. Disperse them with water
  • Never try to light used fireworks.
  • Never ignite fireworks in any container.
  • Never approach misfired fireworks right away.
  • Never meddle with misfired fireworks.
  • Avoid wearing loose, dangling clothing. Ensure that all clothing is securely fastened.
  • Do not use any type of cream, ointment, or oil on the burned area.
  • #diwali #safety#celebrations #diwalicrackers#diwalilights#diwaliinindia#diwaliaccidents#diwalicelebrations#diwalisafetymeasures#dos&dontsdiwali

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