festival Enjoy Diwali, but observe some precautions, as advised by the fire department and medical practitioners in the city, writes Pheroze L. Vincent

S chool children are at the vanguard of spreading awareness on fire safety. Led by the Tamil Nadu Fire and Rescue Services (TNFRS) across the state, they are rallying with placards and educating people on how to celebrate Deepawali safely.

I. J. L. Nathan, Divisional Fire Officer of Coimbatore and The Nilgiris, says they have been organizing massive rallies, with hundreds of students.

Safety awareness

Under orders from TNFRS Director R. Nataraj, the fire brigade is also organising demonstrations in schools and colleges on how to safely light crackers and what to do if injured.

In the evenings, commentaries are made on loud speakers at bus stands and railway stations educating people on what's safe and what's not, adds Nathan.

Rockets are responsible for major fires. Their burning fragments ignite thatched roofs, he explains.

“Through posters, pamphlets and local media we are making people aware of these dangers,” he adds.

In an attempt to curb fires, like the last October's fireworks godown blaze on Cross Cut Road, TNFRS is strictly monitoring all cracker outlets.

Help at hand

In case accidents, small or big, do happen, the state- run Coimbatore Medical College Hospital (CMCH), on Trichy Road, is well prepared.

Medical Superintendent Dr. A. Mathivanan says, “We have adequate drugs and enough doctors and plastic surgeons to deal with any incident.”

He advises people to wear glasses while igniting fireworks and not to wear synthetic clothes. Synthetic fibres melt and stick to the burn, making treatment difficult, he says.

Watch your eyes

“Most of the cases we get around Diwali are burn injuries on hands, face and eyes. Flower pots are particularly dangerous for the eyes, if not ignited with long sparklers or if they are of poor quality,” he explains.

Mandarin firecrackers or vedi are notorious for causing injuries if lit while holding them in the hand. “It can cause nerve injuries and plastic surgery is sometimes required,” adds the doctor.

“Dial 108, for any emergencies. Ambulances can attend any call in the city within 15 minutes. CMCH offers quality service and medicines, for free,” says Mathivanan.

While many are cutting down on fireworks, because they are too expensive or because of the pollution caused, they still remain popular among children.

With a few safety precautions and adult supervision, children can continue to enjoy them fearlessly.

“Dial 108, for any emergencies. Ambulances can attend any call in the city within 15 minutes. CMCH offers quality service and medicines, for free”

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