By Tony Sahni -Securex CEO
Diwali is a time of the year when family and friends unite.
The celebrations are commonly known as the festival of lights by the Hindu community.
The festival is celebrated by millions across the world and in most countries, Diwali and fireworks go hand in hand.
Along with all the activities come some very serious risks.
Every year there are numerous reports of fire accidents and casualty incidents caused by fireworks across the globe.
The fireworks create exciting moments that brighten up the festival of lights.
But if not handled with care, they emit fire that might result in dreadful injuries and damages.
Most families go to big community fireworks displays, which are performed by professionals that take many precautions to assure safety.
A growing number of families will, however, have their backyard festivities with store-bought fireworks.
Unfortunately, many will not take the safety precautions that the pros do.
However, we need to put in mind several precautionary measures.
Keep them out of the reach of children
Children are always excited by the loud noises and beautiful colours produced by fireworks.
They try to imitate their parents or guardians and light the fireworks. This might turn disastrous since they often mishandle the fireworks and resulting in burns, damage to the eyes and other injuries.
Only professionals and adults should handle fireworks.
Sparklers, which are considered safe for the young, should be supervised as they burn at very high temperatures and can easily ignite clothing.
It is also important to discuss safety procedures with your children. Teach children “stop, drop and roll” in case their clothes catch fire.
Have a fire extinguisher standby
Fire extinguishers can prove handy at the most unexpected times and should be part of every household’s inventory.
Before you light any fireworks, keep a fire extinguisher nearby in case of any emergencies as well as for extinguishing fireworks that don’t go off.
Do not use fireworks indoors
Some people will want to celebrate and ignite the fireworks from the balcony of their homes.
This is dangerous as the ignited firework can propel in the wrong direction such as a neighbors house or a nearby window, resulting in extensive damage.
It is advisable to ignite fireworks out in the open.
Additionally, ensure spectators are out of range before lighting the fireworks.
Put on protective clothing
When handling the fireworks, ensure you are in protective clothes that will prevent you from any injuries.
Firecrackers consist of either black powder or flash powder in a tight paper tube with a fuse to light the powder.
The black powder contains charcoal, sulphur, and potassium nitrate. These chemicals are harmful to humans and therefore, handling and transporting of fireworks should be done while wearing basic safety gloves.
Do not re-ignite malfunctioned fireworks
With the new era of fake commodities in the market, be careful when you are buying the fireworks. Please buy the fireworks from a credible distributor and ensure they have the required licensing to operate in the market. Some fireworks release toxic fumes into the dense air, causing pollution. Should you notice your fireworks are malfunctioned, throw them away.
Use care when handling fireworks
Do not aim or throw fireworks at another person or property. Always carry them in a closed container before ignition, do not carry them in your pocket. When lighting fireworks, it is important to light one at a time.
Clean up all the firework material after use
After the celebration, children can be attracted to the remaining pieces of used fireworks. This is dangerous since some of the pieces may still be flammable and can explode at any time. Clean up all the wires, tubes sticks, and any other firework materials that are left after.
Put them in a bucket of water and let them soak overnight to be sure they are out.
Fireworks mark the epitome moment of every celebration hence should be enjoyed to the fullest. However, you will only enjoy with great surety in mind that your loved ones are safe.
Have a Happy and Safe Diwali!