18 Top Tips for Staying Safe
For people around the world it’s the festival of lights this week and whether you are a Sikh, Hindu, Buddhist or Jain we want you to light up Diwali safely.
So, without further ado, here are SHEilds’ 18 top tips for staying safe during the festivities!
Ensuring you are prepared
Ideally all your festivities during the week will be safe and enjoyable, however it’s worth ensuring you are prepared for an emergency regardless for peace of mind.
Assuming sparklers, crackers and fireworks are part of your plan then having a bucket of water readily on hand for disposal of the latter or to pour over small fires is a solid precaution. A stocked first aid kit is also advisable – which you can find out more about here – along with a fire blanket.
In terms of dress, it’s highly recommended that you opt for tighter low flammability clothing, tie long hair back to reduce dangers from open flames and wear a solid pair of shoes when lighting fireworks to protect your feet from sparks.
Candle and Diyas
If you are lighting candles and diyas as a part of your celebration the following pointers should keep fire risks down and prevent mishaps:
- Use sturdy holders for your candles and make sure your lamps aren’t cracked or precarious. Additionally, ensure the surface they are on is flat and heat resistant. Carpets and fabrics are always a no go.
- Lighting of candles and lamps should be handled by adults and in the case of older children carefully supervised.
- Never leave candles burning unattended when you leave a room, unsupervised even a small accidental fire has the capacity to become a devastating blaze. The same goes for when you go to sleep, ensure they are all safely extinguished first.
- Be mindful of surrounding flammable decorations and furniture. Banners, ribbons, cloths and linen should all be kept a substantial distance from any open flames.
Crackers and Sparklers
While not deemed to be fully fledged fireworks perhaps crackers and sparklers can be dangerous in their own right and warrant caution in their use:
- As with candles, adults should constantly supervise children when using both crackers and sparklers. Younger children (under five) should not be given either as there are no guarantees they will understand the danger presented.
- When using sparklers, they should always be held at arm’s length wearing gloves and not waved around close to anyone else or ran with as this substantially increases the likelihood of injury.
- When lighting a cracker this should be done at arm’s length with a taper of some kind. They should also be resting on the ground. NEVER light a cracker while it is in your hand.
- NEVER return to an unburst cracker, abandon it for the night and light a new one instead.
- Don’t set crackers off on or near busy roads as this is likely to provoke panic and disruption.
- When they’re finished dispose of used sparklers in a bucket of cold water.
Fireworks and Rockets
The most eye-catching aspects of many festivities are often the most potentially dangerous. As such, you should scale your caution appropriately when handling fireworks and rockets:
- Only adults should handle storage, setup, lighting and disposal of fireworks with children watching rather than being directly involved. As with crackers, this should be done at arm’s length with an appropriate taper.
- Ensure your fireworks are from a legally licensed shop. Bootleg and homemade alternatives are likely to come with risks and unpredictable behaviour far outweighing the benefits of money saved.
- Before use your fireworks should be stored safely in an appropriate secure box, never in pockets or loose with unrelated items in a bag. Be careful that this storage is kept as far away from potential ignition sources such as fires and candles as reasonably practicable.
- Plan your firework display ahead of time, using an open space clear of obstructions where people are unlikely to accidentally walk into the display. In particular, make sure rocket trajectories are completely clear of trees, buildings and windows.
- Unless you are a professional running a carefully choreographed display you should only light ONE firework at a time. This should be done by one person while everyone else stands back at a significant distance to watch.
- If a firework doesn’t go off abandon it for the evening, don’t go back and attempt to relight it.
- Before disposing of used fireworks leave them to soak in a bucket of cold water.
- Under no circumstances should you ever throw a firework, the results will be unpredictable at best, catastrophic at worst.
With appropriate care and responsibility following the above there’s no reason you shouldn’t be able to focus on enjoying festivities alongside friends and family. Just remain responsible and keep safety in mind.
SHEilds wishes you all a very happy and safe Diwali!