Fire Safety Precautions During Holi
Popularly known as the festival of color, Holi is one of the most cherished and celebrated festivals in India, especially among Hindus. And while the most well-known tradition that occurs on Holi is the play of colors, there is also a very important ritual that takes place a day before this, which is known as Holika Dahan or ‘Small Holi’
Holika Dahan is celebrated all across the country and primarily symbolizes the triumph of good over evil. It is stated that during the Vedic period, the blessed fire of Holi was burnt amongst the chanting of specific mantras which were intended for the destruction of the devilish forces which is why fire plays a very key role in honoring this festival.
There is a specific way that the fire for this ritual is created where multiple people contribute wood that eventually gets burnt the night before the Holi festival. The ritual also involves a celebration around the bonfire where the people of the community get together and dance.
While the history behind the entire ritual makes the bonfire as well as the celebration around it significant, it is important to note that, this can at times become dangerous and can be a large cause of fire emergencies if all the necessary fire and safety precautions are not put in place.
So, here are a few fire safety tips to keep in mind to avoid creating a fire emergency when celebrating this important festival:
1. Choose an appropriate location
When deciding a location for the bonfire, ensure that it is not only in a wide-open space with adequate comfort and ventilation, but also that you are aware of all the possible exit options in case you would need to make a run for it for fire protection.
2. Have all the necessary fire and safety equipment
The best way to prepare for any worst-case scenario is to be equipped with all the necessary fire and safety equipment such as a fire extinguisher, garden hose, and a water source nearby in case of a fire emergency.
Fire extinguishers are especially the most effective to prevent a fire emergency by keeping the fire in control and dousing it.
3. Identify fire hazards
Before the bonfire is created, ensure that rogue or faulty fireworks, mishandled sparklers, bonfire flames, and embers, things nearby that could catch on fire and cause fire to spread, e.g. buildings, fences, trees, shrubbery, etc are all checked on.
But sometimes, unexpected things take place and accidents happen. We must be also prepared for that!
So, here are a few fire safety tips to follow during a fire emergency:
Know how to safely operate a fire extinguisher
Since you have already equipped yourself with all the necessary fire and safety equipment, it is also important that there be designated people in the crowd who know how to operate these to bring the fire down.
Only tackle a fire in its very early stages.
Once you realize that the fire you have created has gotten out of control, remember that the time to tackle this fire by yourself is only at the early stages when water and fire extinguishers can control it. If you find that the fire is too large and is spreading, then make sure you run as far away as possible and call the fire department who is much better equipped to handle the situation.
While the spirit of Holika Dahan is pure, the ritual can prove to be dangerous if all the above fire protection and prevention measures that keep you and everyone around you safe are not taken. The goal should always be to have a happy and safe time!