Don’t let kids light firecrackers says Aviva NDB Insurance

Friday, 6 April 2012 00:01 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

In Sri Lanka, a joyous festive celebration is not complete without a loud blast of firecrackers. The auspicious times celebrated during Sinhala and Tamil New Year are traditionally marked by ear-splitting sounds that reverberate across the length and breadth of the country. How did firecrackers and fireworks become popular? How did it all start?  

Firecrackers probably originated some 2000 years ago in China where it is still a very popular method of scaring away evil spirits during weddings, births and religious festivals. Fireworks are popular even in the UK where bonfires are held to mark Guy Fawkes Day.

Firecrackers are used in many cultures during celebrations such as Diwali in India, Tihar in Nepal, the Day of Ashura in Morocco and of course the Chinese New Year.

In Sri Lanka, in spite of media attention to safety when lighting crackers, people ignore the simple rules of lighting crackers safely and the custom has all too often resulted in horrific accidents that have left lasting scars, often leaving the victim maimed or blinded for life.  

Parents should never allow young children to light firecrackers. Young people should enjoy firecrackers from a safe distance. Only adults should deal with lighting firecrackers. Keep naked flames, including cigarettes, away from fireworks. Never return to a firework once it has been lit. Never hold a baby in your arms while lighting a firecracker. Unbelievably many parents are guilty of doing this, endangering their young children.  

Dilukshi Kuruppu from Dehiwela, a mother of two believes that media warnings just before festivities have heightened her awareness on firecracker safety.  “Messages from AVIVA NDB keep reminding parents of the possible dangers in a timely manner. I think it’s a very caring and responsible action that should be appreciated.” she commented. “These warnings ensured that I was acutely aware of the necessity for lighting firecrackers with extra care during the festivities. I ensure that my daughter Nuthara, 11 and Dilith, who is 13, never light firecrackers on their own. I always make sure to protect them and keep them safe.”   

As far back as in 1994, AVIVA NDB commenced drawing attention to the danger of lighting firecrackers without adequate care. The company launched evocative media communications, using TV, Radio as well as newspapers and roadside hoardings to motivate young families to light crackers keeping safety foremost in mind. This has, over the years resulted in reducing the number of accidents during festivities.  

The company continues to have media communications to caution the general public to light crackers safely.

“As a socially responsible company, we strive to make the nation safety conscious, especially with regard to firecrackers which can cause serious injury unless lit with care and concentration,” commented a company spokesman, adding, “Our efforts over the years have helped to reduce the number of accidents resulting from firecrackers, especially those affecting children.”