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Celebrate an Environmentally Safe Diwali !

It's that time of the year when the sky dazzles with fireworks and houses are lit up. But with so many potential fire hazards on Diwali day, here's a rundown below on how to celebrate a safe festival of lights this year.

Flame-producing crackers are relatively more dangerous than other crackers and nearly 80 percent of burn cases received by hospitals on Diwali day are due to fire crackers like the conical anar, chakri and rocket.

Flame-producing crackers are relatively more dangerous than other crackers.

Experts say taking some basic steps can thwart accidents. They suggest going for community celebrations, buying crackers from only licensed shops and keeping two buckets of water ready.

But with a major chunk of population vouching for celebrating the festival of lights with firecrackers, doctors say the measures are not enough. An extensive approach to first aid is also needed to keep people prepared.

Since you cannot tell people to choose a defined and restricted way of celebrating the festival, it is better to be prepared.

The most common type of injuries include skin burns and eye injuries. Sometimes a finger might have to be amputated when a cracker goes off in the hand.

According to experts, the reasons behind the increasing accidents on Diwali are space constrains and increased spending power and hence increasing sale of firecrackers.

While the importance of prevention measures is placed high, doctors also have a list of post-burn measures.

The first thing to be done after any burn injury is to pour water over the burnt portion. If you receive burns on face or eyes, then splash plenty of cold water. The person should immediately be taken to the nearest hospital," Rohit Batra, dermatologist with Gangaram hospital, told.

The awareness methodology professed by experts is: prevention, management and rehabilitation measures.

There are a lot of myths related to removing burn scars. The fact is that no cream, ointment, or medicine can remove scars, they can only be reduced over a period of time.

Some of the burn wards at government hospitals in the capital are Safdarjung Hospital, Ram Manohar Lohia hospital, Sucheta Kriplani hospital, Lok Nayak hospital, GTB hospital, Deen Dayal Upadhyay (DDU) hospital and Bara Hindu Rao hospital in Old Delhi.

Tips for a safe Diwali:-

Do's:

* An adult should always supervise the use of fireworks by children.

* Check the area before igniting fireworks to ensure that all inflammable and combustible materials are removed.

* Follow all safety precautions issued with the fireworks.

* Use a candle or an agarbathi to ignite fireworks. They burn without an open flame and provide a greater and safer distance between your hands and the fireworks.

* Open flames from matches and lighters can cause additional fire hazards.

* Keep a fire extinguisher or bucket of water nearby to extinguish any incipient fire.

* Keep burn ointments handy.

* Use fireworks only outdoors.

* Wear protective goggles while lighting fireworks to prevent eye injuries.

* Light only one firework at a time.

* Firecrackers, bombs and flowerpots should not be lighted holding them. It is always safer to light them from the side without bending over them.

* Move away quickly before they burst.

* Hold lighted sparklers away from the body.

* Flying fireworks - rockets, missiles, etc. - should always be lighted in open grounds pointing straight up.

* Discard used fireworks in a bucket of water.

* Wear close-fitting clothes of thick material instead of loose or flowing garments.

* Store fireworks in a cool and dry place.

* Consult an opthalmologist immediately in case of eye injuries.

Don'ts:

* Never give fireworks to small children.

* Never ignite fireworks while holding them. Put them down, then ignite them and walk away.
* Do not put fireworks in any container to ignite.

* Never mix anything with the contents of fireworks or make fireworks at home.

* Never ignite aerial fireworks where overhead obstruction (trees, wires, etc.) may interfere with trajectory into open air space.

* Never ignite an aerial firework near an opening to a building.

* Never use fireworks inside a vehicle.

* Never re-light a firework which has not burnt properly. Wait for 15 to 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.

* Never throw or point fireworks at other people.

* Never carry fireworks in your pocket.

* Never shoot fireworks in metal or glass containers.

* Ensure that your children don't engage in dangerous pranks such as throwing lighted crackers or sparklers at others, or try to make fireworks themselves.

Following these precutions can go a long way in ensuring a safe Diwali.

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