Avoid winter tragedies 

Winter is knocking on the door. The winter season invariably brings a lot of hardships for the people of Kashmir. The fight gets harder in absence of paraphernalia.

Apart from increasing the woes on a varied scale, the winter also brings tragedies. Many people died in the past due to asphyxiation etc with coal heating systems or gas heaters kept open to ward off chill.

It is also not the case that these deaths occur once in a while but such incidents happen recurrently. It is also a fact that Home heating has improved over the past years. However, despite progress the tragedies continue to befall.  The threat of asphyxia is very high in the use of gas heaters. Many people have died while in sleep due to gas leakage or heaters burning off all oxygen in the room. The use of other heaters using wood, charcoal, or kerosene can bring more dangers if not used judiciously.

Last week, in a tragic incident, a conflagration engulfed five houseboats namely Safeena, Sabreena, Young Gulshan, Lala Rukh and Khar Palace at Dal Lake. Also seven residential huts and neighbouring houses in the vicinity were also gutted in the ensuing blaze. Sadly also, three tourists from Bangladesh were charred to death in the fire.

Apart from death, skin dryness may compound by using heaters and blowers. It could also lead to eye and skin irritations. In the case of eyes it may then lead to conjunctivitis while the skin can become itchy and then develop an allergy, the experts have said.

There are other dangers associated with the winter like deaths due to avalanches and cold etc.

The deaths are higher in plains of India where a large number of poor are not equipped to deal with sweeping wintry conditions emanating from snow-laden peaks in the north.

Health experts also believe that the number of deaths and complications can be avoided by making the public aware of the preventive measures. It needs no special emphasis that the safety of instruments requires continuous watch, with no scope for waivers. There is a need to strengthen the approach to the public as well as occupational safety. The government needs to create awareness about the hazards as also the safety measures about the use of the various heating gadgets.

The people also need to follow all precautionary measures while handling electric and electronic gadgets, LPG cylinders and other appliances being used for heating and cooking purposes to avoid tragic incidents.

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