10 Safety Tips For Your Family This Diwali

All set to ring in the Diwali festivities? While it is a time to rejoice and bond with your loved ones, ensuring their safety is also important. Here are some important tips to help you.

By Tasneem Sariya  • 11 min read

10 Safety Tips For Your Family This Diwali

Diwali, the festival of lights is here again. It is the time of the year when there is a palpable sense of merriment in our homes, offices and communities. Associated with lights, rangolis, sparklers, delicious food and family bonding, the festival is also a time when things can go wrong. During the celebrations, the safety and security of your family members and your house, can be a concern. As a responsible parent and citizen, you must ensure that everyone enjoys the festivities wholeheartedly but also, safely.

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Safety doesn’t just mean being careful around diyas and firecrackers. It includes many other factors — keeping homes safe from theft, ensuring the comfort of your elders, shielding children from burns and guarding pets from the festival frenzy. It also entails keeping the environment and streets litter-free and less polluted.

Take a look at our top 10 safety tips. These are absolutely essential for you and your family during this Diwali.

1. Lamps/diyas: Diwali is the time when our homes are lit with the glow of beautiful earthern lamps. While they bring brightness into our lives, diyas can also inadvertently lead to fires. So, ensure that you and your family are protected from fire-related accidents.   

What you can do:

  • Make sure you keep the lamps away from curtains and other inflammable objects.
  • Avoid lighting diyas or candles near electrical wiring.
  • Place lamps on the ground or a flat surface so these are not dropped or overturned. 
  • Keep pets away from diyas, so that they do not accidentally burn themselves. 
  • Ensure babies and toddlers do not go near the lighted diyas ortouch them.
  • Keep doorways clear, so that small children don't trip on diyas, fall and hurt themselves. 

2. Firecrackers: Firecrackers are a big part of Diwali celebrations, especially when you have teenagers and children in the family.

What you can do:

  • Avoid the use of firecrackers, especially the ones that emit a lot of noise. 
  • If you have to, do buy firecrackers from reputed companies and stores to ensure that these are of good quality. 
  • Explain to your children that they must burn firecrackers only under adult supervision. 
  • Light one firecracker at a time to avoid chaos. Ensure these are lit in open spaces and under open skies.
  • Do not light firecrackers near electric wires or poles.
  • Don’t be adventurous around firecrackers and never get too close while lighting them. 
  • Keep a bucket of water handy, in case there is an accident.   
  • Be alert and take precautions while lighting or watching fireworks. Make sure your children follow suit. 
10 Safety Tips For Your Family This Diwali

3. Disposal and littering:  Always ensure that you are disposing of burnt firecrackers safely. Half-burnt crackers can turn out to be potential hazards. If not disposed off in the right manner, they can also be detrimental to the environment. Stack up used sparklers, fountains, chakkars and phuljaris, and place them in a bucket of water before throwing them away. Make sure you clean the debris left behind from burnt crackers and get rid of them in an environmentally-friendly manner. 

Things to keep ready while enjoying Diwali firecrackers:

4. Noise and smoke pollution: Noise levels during Diwali can be deafening. Even if you are not burning noisy firecrackers, people in your neighbourhood may still be doing it. Elders, toddlers and babies might find the noise unbearable. Babies get startled easily and often resort to crying incessantly. Moreover, the sound and smoke can have adverse health effects on them. 

  • As much as possible, limit the use of firecrackers. If you are planning a community celebration, keep in mind the needs of the elderly, babies and pets.
  • If someone in the family is allergic to smoke, keep them away from areas where there is a lot of smoke.
  • Keep babies inside the home with all doors and windows closed to minimise the sounds of crackers and the smoke from burning crackers.

5. Pet safety: Festivals such as Diwali can be traumatic for pets, as they get extremely confused and scared because of the noise.

What you can do:

  • Keep your pets in the part of the house most protected from outside noise.   
  • Ensure that no one in your family or neighbourhood plays pranks on pets or strays by deliberately exposing them to crackers. 

6. Clothing: Who does not like to dress up for an occasion like Diwali? Parents tend to dress their children too in the latest trends. However, dressing up comfortably for Diwali is important for you and your child's safety.

What you can do:

  • Avoid wearing clothes made of synthetic material, as these can catch fire easily.
  • Stick to wearing cotton clothes that are not loose or flowing.
  • Be cautious with dupattas and long saree pallus, these could brush against candles or lamps.
  • Dress up your children in comfortable cotton clothes, which are not too loose or flowy.
  • While dressing your children, tie up their hair to avoid any mishaps. 

  • 7. Home safety: Though festivals are to be enjoyed by the whole community, there are unscrupulous elements in our society who may at times, take advantage of the festivities.

  • What you can do:
    • During Diwali celebrations, ensure that you don’t leave your valuables or jewellery unattended when the entire family is out on the porch or terrace. This might invite robberies and thefts.
    • The festival season is one of the best times for burglars to target homes since it is easier to get in and out during large celebrations. Ensure that you lock all doors and windows before stepping out of the house.
    • If possible, install a burglar alarm in the house. 
    • Set up a closed-circuit camera at the entrance of your home.
    • If you have a special child or infirm elderly people at home, make sure they are safe and out of danger, before going out to celebrate.

    8. Pickpockets: Pickpockets and small-time thieves can pose another threat to your property and possessions. After all, celebrations mean crowded places and, in many cases, you may find yourself in the midst of large gatherings.

    What you can do:

    • Make sure that you keep your belongings — wallet, keys, money, etc. — safe in the inner pockets of your garment or inside a handbag/sling bag.  
    • Be alert and keep an eye on your surroundings.
    • Tell your children not to go into unlit rooms and even, walk towards dark corners with any person or stranger.

    9. Food safety: Diwali is also the time for lip-smacking food. However, due to the spike in demand during festivals, the quality of food available may be compromised.

    What you can do:

    • Buy sweets and other special items from reputed stores and shops that take care to ensure quality.
    • Ensure that everyone, especially children, washes their hands before eating or touching any food.
    • Avoid street food as much as possible.
    • Always keep your food covered.

    10. Environment safety: Celebrating Diwali always takes a toll on our environment. The smoke from burning firecrackers causes air pollution and can pose health hazards to humans and animal.  

    What you can do:

    • Be sensible and keep the decibel level in check while bursting crackers. Go for firecrackers that do not emit too much sound or noise.
    • Avoid firecrackers that emit a lot of smoke.  
    • Discard all wrappers and used crackers properly.
    • Don’t direct rockets and other air-borne crackers to destroy trees or shrubbery.
    • Make sure your potted plants are taken care of and not trampled upon during Diwali celebrations.
    • Sensitise your children about environmental safety. This is crucial for the long-term in order to safeguard the environment and our habitat.

    Diwali is a time for light, love and laughter. It is when families get together, and unite in celebration. Be mindful, be joyful and enjoy a truly beautiful Diwali with your family and loved ones.   

    About the author:

    Written by Tasneem Sariya on 15 October 2018.

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