Diwali and the traditional Hindu New Year celebrations are here once again.
This time of year is never the same without the traditional pre-Diwali rituals, cooking delicacies, family gatherings as well as prayers for peace and goodwill.
More and more of us celebrate the end of the Puja or the start of the New Year with fantastic displays of fireworks. Everyone loves a traditional firework display. I will be doing the same with my family this year.
However, we want you to be safe from danger and in particular personal injury, so make sure that before you wave that alluring sparkler or stand extra close to a colorful display, you avoid any potential firework injury this Diwali.
Safety is paramount on nights like these and below I offer you some guidance on how you can ensure your safety and that of your family so that you can all celebrate in a safe enjoyable way.
Nowadays, more time and funds are applied by by local authorities in educating those of us who use fireworks in order to ensure that everyone is safe and unharmed. I personally experienced this commitment to health and safety at the recent Navratri Celebrations, where the event organisers warned everyone to keep their distance from the Deeva (candle lights) while the prayers were carried out. Thankfully, there were no injuries reported during Navratri.
Nonetheless, it is not uncommon for revelers to end up with a firework injury , often sustained from dodgy fireworks, carelessness or poor organisation at Diwali events. The numbers of those being injured are on the increase.
Suffering fireworks injuries can have shocking effects on you and your family, especially if it happens at a time of celebration. Sometimes the injury is non-reversible, with permanent skin scarring caused by burns.
I have noticed that more and more families now have garden firework parties at home and I would advise that safety be made paramount on the agenda.
Societies and groups will be holding displays to celebrate Diwali right up to the forthcoming weekend. We recommend joining an organised fireworks display as the best way to minimise the risk of any potential firework injury . Nowadays, most event managers comply strictly with the health and safety executive’s guidelines.
Traditionalists though, will opt for fireworks that you can buy for use in the back-garden. Here are some “do’s and don’ts” when using fireworks at home so as to avoid a firework injury :
• Always purchase the fireworks from a licensed or recognised venue and check that they follow the Kite Mark health and safety standards. Whilst in itself this does not prevent firework injuries from occurring, at least the products have been tested and are considered generally as being safe.
• It may be stating the obvious, but aside from sparklers, don’t hold a lit firework and certainly do not throw it. If you see anyone doing so, clearly there is a high risk of firework injuries . Don’t take the law into your own hands, instead call the police.
• Always follow the “firework code”. There is one published annually by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents. Search online for the most up to date copy.
• If you suffer a firework injury always seek immediate medical help. You should attend hospital straight away especially if the injury is to the skin or eyes as burns in particular, left unattended, will likely lead to more permanent scaring.
• If the incident takes place at an organised function / event and if you, or if a friend is able, take photographs of the area where the incident occurred. Report the matter to the onsite fire safety officer or a health and safety representative.
During this festive time, do take care of your personal welfare.
If you think that the accident could have been avoided in any way or that it was anyone else’s fault, I would recommend that you seek legal advice about your eligibility to claim .
At Saracens , our legal team has many years of experience in helping victims of firework injuries and burns, to achieve the maximum compensation they are entitled to.
I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very safe, happy and peaceful Diwali. I hope everyone has an enjoyable time with their friends, family and close ones.
In the unlikely event that you or your loved ones sustain a firework injury this Diwali or any time in the past three years; contact me at Saracens on 0203 588 3530 and I will help you claim what you are due.
In the meantime, Happy Diwali.