Every year around Diwali, we get to manage eye injuries related to fireworks- from mild lid burns to complete loss of an eye.  It is important therefore to reduce the risk of an accident and take ample precautions.

  1. Select a site away from residential premises, preferably an open area with level ground. The community park is best suited.
  2. Keep a bucket of water ready with a mug
  3. Identify a source of running water nearby and keep a sufficient length of water pipe available on site.  Check that water supply is working and preferably connect it to an overhead tank that is full 
  4. Wear cotton/natural fibre clothes while lighting fireworks.  Keep a woollen (Pure wool) blanket ready for any accident.
  5. Keep your firecrackers and other items away from other ignitable items 
  6. Do not burst crackers in a closed container as it can burst.  Never cover a cracker with pebbles or other objects as they can fly off as shrapnel with great speed when it bursts.  Do not use crackers with small fuses. Douse them with water and keep them in a separate heap.  Do not re-ignite a cracker that has failed to burst and douse it with water.
  7. Do not use plastic bottles to fire rockets as they melt and rockets can move without controlled in unintended trajectories.  Use a glass bottle with a heavy base and sufficient length.  The bottle should stand vertically with no tilt.  Use a long candle to light the fuse and ensure that rocket is not pointing towards you while igniting.  Move away quickly to a safe distance after lighting.  Do not hold rockets in your hand while lighting.
  8. Flower Pots (Anaar) should be lighted with the help of a long crackle stick (phool jhari).  If it fails to emit sparkles douse it with water.  Do not kick the shells that are burnt out or in the process of emitting sparkles.  Douse them after they are burnt out.  Do not hold them in hand to show off.
  9. Spinning wheels should be lighted on smooth floor only

As a first aid for any fireworks injury wash eyelids in cool running water or just dip the head in a bucket of water to bring the temperature down.  Cover eye with a clean handkerchief or a sterile pad and go an eye surgeon.  No pressure on the eyeballs please.  Do not try to use an eye drop lying at home.   

It is important to take precautions and be prepared to handle a situation rather than being sorry!