Guide to safe celebrations

What are the authorities doing to ensure you have a happy Deepavali? Here is a quick lowdown

Party responsibly, don’t drink and drive

The law and order police are putting extra men on the job for the festival. Murugan S, additional commissioner of police (East zone), tells Metrolife, “We don’t want to put in place too many restrictions and spoil the celebrations but we want people to party responsibly. We urge people, especially women, to move around in groups. We also hope people will not stay out too late.” The police will also be out checking for drunken driving, he says.

Don’t bend over when lighting crackers

Sunil Agarwal, additional DGP, Karnataka State Fire and Emergency services (Bengaluru), has issued the following instructions:

Allow children to light fireworks only under the supervision of adults.

Do not light firecrackers inside the house but light them in an open space, away from combustible material.

Don’t wear loose, flowing clothes when lighting crackers.

Hold sparklers away from the body.

Don’t bend over firecrackers while lighting them. Light them from the side.

Don’t light fireworks under metal containers.

Don’t keep firecrackers in your pockets.

Don’t store fireworks or unpack them near a flame.

Once a cracker is lit, don’t go back to check. It may explode.

Flower pots are best lit on the floor. Don’t hold them in your palm.

As far as possible avoid lighting rockets. If you do, ensure they don’t not open windows and doors.

Respiratory problems? Stay away

Dr Naresh Bhat of Aster CMI Hospital says people with asthma and lung-related disease must remain indoors and stay away from areas where firecrackers are being lit. “The noise can trigger anxiety for those with heart disease. Those with lung-related disease can be affected with chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases where they experience extreme difficulties in breathing,” he explains.

Restrict timings, control noise

Rajbir Singh, chief marshal officer, BBMP, says resident welfare associations (RWAs) should take measures to control noise and waste from crackers.

Singh told Metrolife: “The litter from cracker waste has been increasing every year.

This year, we have proposed that the RWAs should have a designated place where people can burst crackers.

They should also stick to a certain time. We want people to stop bursting crackers latest by 9 pm.”

He is also issuing a circular urging people to light more lamps. “We have also asked the Pollution Control Board to restrict the bursting of crackers to one day, instead of three,”
he says.

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