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Lighting up Lives: Spreading Fire Safety Awareness during Diwali

Four-year-old Ishaan sings “Hot Hot Hot, Not Not Not” the moment he sees a seemingly hot item around him; six-year-old Ruhi makes sure to light crackers with her dad around; while 10-year-old Rahul has almost mastered his fire safety lessons. All of them, along with their parents, had recently attended a Safe Kids at Home fire safety workshop for Diwali, the popular festival of lights, organized by Safe Kids Foundation India (SKFI) in Pune, India.

Continuing its endeavor to make a real, sustainable, and measurable impact on the community it serves, Honeywell India, in collaboration with SKFI, has launched a fire safety awareness drive around Diwali festivities, as part of the ongoing Safe Kids at Home program in Pune. Funded by a Honeywell India grant, Safe Kids at Home teaches children like Ishaan, Ruhi and Rahul how to avoid burn and scald injuries, while also educating parents and caregivers.

SKFI has innovatively designed engaging activities for parents and children as Diwali approaches. These include community-led programs at schools, roadshows and street plays, educating citizens about the importance of fire safety, and urging them to act responsibly.

Safe Kids at Home works to spread awareness around fire safety, having reached out to 76,000 children and 64,000 parents across Pune since its launch in November 2015.

The program continues to get overwhelming support from local civic authorities like Pune Fire Department and Pune Municipal Corporation, with their senior representatives actively endorsing the program.

At the launch, Prashant Ranpise, Chief Fire Officer, Pune Fire Department, urged Pune citizens to be conscious of the damage possible even with small fire mishaps, especially during Diwali when more burn incidents among children are reported. He further stressed upon the importance of following simple fire safety practices and celebrating the festival responsibly, thereby preventing accidents and keeping families safe.

Sangita Ghalay, Head &endash; CSR, Honeywell India, believes that Safe Kids at Home is not just about conducting training modules on fire safety and assessing outcomes, but also about motivating people to act responsibly. She further advocates that children become the pivot for driving a strong safety culture, encouraging citizens and civic agencies to come together and make Pune a safe and smart city.

By 2018, the program aims to make 325,000 children and 175,000 parents fire safety aware through innovative, experiential, and fun educational tools.

Madhavi Jha