Every year like clockwork, the days following Spring Festival will give way to a cacophony of firecrackers and fireworks. In 2012, one person died and 271 people were injured in fireworks-related accidents; for this Spring Festival, police started cracking down on shoddy fireworks as early as last December. Many of us will be pressing our pillows over our heads at 2am trying to get some sleep, while others will be trying their hand at setting off some of these explosive devices. If you’re part of the latter group, there are a number of safety precautions to respect – especially when kids are involved.
Only buy legal fireworks.
The Beijing Bureau of Quality and Technology Supervision is responsible for overseeing the list of approved fireworks vendors in the city. Fireworks sold in Beijing must be locally-made, and go on sale at a different date every year; this year was February 5. In addition, never try to make your own fireworks.
Light fireworks the correct way.
Don’t hold fireworks in your hand or have any part of your body over them while lighting them. Wear protective goggles. Don’t carry fireworks in your pocket; any sort of friction could set them off. Never try to relight a dud, and light fireworks one at a time.
Never point fireworks at homes, flammable substances, or other people.
Don’t throw or point fireworks at anyone (even as a joke), and steer clear of other people’s fireworks. Also, don’t be an a**hole (pardon my French) and point your fireworks at people’s homes; a Roman candle bounced off my window last year and it made me drop hot tea all over myself. Lastly, make sure you steer clear of brush, leaves, and other flammable materials.
Be prepared for accidents.
Fireworks have been known to backfire or shoot off in the wrong direction. If that happens, make sure you’re ready with a bucket of water or a hose. In the event that someone gets injured, immediately go to the hospital. In case of eye injury, don’t let the person to rub or touch it; also, don’t flush the eye out with water or apply anything to it. Instead, cut out the bottom of a paper cup, place it over the eye, and seek medical attention. If it’s a burn, remove the clothing from around the burned are and run cool – not cold – water over the burn. No ice.
Never let kids play with fireworks.
Firecrackers, rockets, and sparklers are simply too dangerous. If your child insists on playing with sparklers, ensure they do it outside and keep them away from face, clothes, and hair. Though pretty, sparklers can reach a temperature of 982° Celsius – nearly hot enough to melt 24k pure gold. Additionally, don’t allow kids to pick up pieces of fireworks after the fact; some may still be active and can explode at any time.
Dispose of fireworks properly.
Be sure to pick up the remnants of your fireworks after you’re done. Soak all used and unused fireworks in water before throwing them out.
Think of your pet, too.
Animals can be especially sensitive to loud, sudden noises. Figure out a different walking route for your dog or keep them indoors during this time. Last year, my friend and I tried to walk a dog she was dogsitting in the Jiaodaokou area, but she wouldn’t have any of it.
With these tips in mind, we hope that your Spring Festival will be a happy and healthy one. Take care!
Source: Kids Health
Photo: xavi talleda via Flickr