Friday, 28 October 2016 18:38

ODPM Provides Citizens with Safety Advice for the Divali Season

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The Office of Disaster, Preparedness and Management (ODPM) urges all citizens to practice safety measures while participating in celebratory activities for the Divali Festival.

Statistics indicate that there is an increased risk or fire and medical injuries at Divali time, due to the unsupervised lighting of deeyas, candles and fireworks. Here are a few safety tips to ensure a safe and incident free celebration:- 

Fire Safety:
• Keep open flames at a safe distance from curtains, furniture, decorations and loose clothing.
• Always place deeyas/candles firmly within a proper holder so they do not fall over and ensure they are placed on a heat resistant surface.
• Keep deeyas/candles out of the reach of children and pets.
• Don't get distracted when you are cooking – turn off the heat if you have to leave the cooking unattended.
• Keep tea towels, clothes and electrical leads away from the cooker.
• Make sure saucepan handles are not sticking out from the hob or over a naked flame.
• Remember to turn off the oven, stove and gas tank after you have finished cooking.
• Take extra care when cooking with hot oil because it can cause a fire easily - use a thermostat controlled deep-fat fryer which will make sure the fat doesn't get too hot.

Fireworks Safety:
• Have a “designated shooter,” someone who is not drinking alcohol at all.
• The “shooter” should wear safety glasses, and the audience should stay a safe distance away.
• Never light more than one firework at a time.
• Never point fireworks at another person or an animal.
• Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse.
• Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.
• Never take unnecessary risks while lighting fireworks – don’t show off.
• Don’t wear loose, long or dangly clothing, and avoid wearing silk or nylon, both of which are highly flammable.
• Only light fireworks outside.
• Buy fireworks of authorized/reputed manufacturers only.
• Keep the fireworks to be used in a safe storage area.
• In case of burns, pour large quantity of water on the burnt area.
• In case of major burns, after extinguishing the fire, remove all smouldering clothes and wrap the victim in a clean bedsheet.
• The patient should be taken to the hospital immediately. Don't panic.
• In case of eye burns, wash the eye with tap water for 10 minutes and take the victim to a hospital.

Vulnerable Groups:
• Ensure that preparations are made for persons with special needs and pets, be sensitive to your neighbours, especially elderly persons and individuals with heart conditions.
• Pets get very frightened and distressed when fireworks are being used, so keep all your pets secure and away from the noise to avoid them from running away.
• Ensure your pets have identification collars in the event they are disoriented and run away.

Citizens are reminded to please contact our Customer Care Call Centre at 511 and check our Disaster Ready App and website www.odpm.gov.tt for additional safety tips and preparedness measures for a disaster.

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