Safety Tips for the 4th of July

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Safety Tips for the 4th of July

When you think 4th of July, you think friends and families, barbeques, picnics, pool, beach, and most of all fireworks.  Whether you’re celebrating with family in your backyard or with the community in a public venue, make sure you make safety a part of your plans.  You don’t want a great day to end tragically.

Barbeque grilling safety tips

Hot dogs and hamburgers are a staple of Independence Day celebrations.  Make sure you practice good grilling safety.

  • Make sure you grill outdoors. Never use your grill inside the house, a porch, or garage.
  • Move the grill away from the house on level ground. Never grill near deck railings or under eaves.  Make sure you’re away from flower beds and low hanging branches.
  • Never leave the grill unattended. Make sure someone is in charge and monitoring the grill at all times.
  • Keep children and pets away from the grill. Make sure children have a safe place to run and play away from cooking and food preparation.
  • Reduce the risk of fire by keeping the grill clean and removing grease and fat buildup that can cause fire flare ups.

Water safety tips

Everyone loves the beach or pool on a hot summer day and nothing beats water fun at your party.

  • Know basic water safety. Have floatation devices available around the pool or shore that can be thrown to struggling swimmers.
  • If using a backyard pool, consider hiring a life guard or two. Keep a watchful eye on everyone in the water, not just children.
  • Make sure you know who can’t swim or are not strong swimmers and never let them go into the water alone.
  • Make sure all children stay away from pool or hot tub drains and pipes. Ask guests with long hair to wear a bathing cap.  Floating hair can catch in drains and other openings at the bottom and sides of the pool.
  • Do not let guests bring food and drink into the water. Never allow glass on the beach or on a pool deck.

Fireworks

Fireworks are the highlight of most 4th of July celebrations.  Don’t ruin a wonderful day by ending it in the emergency room.  Burns, eye injuries, and serious hand and finger damage fill emergency rooms every Independence Day.  Play it safe and let the professionals handle the fireworks displays.  But if you insist on setting off your own fireworks, make sure you observe these safety tips.

  • Obey the law. If fireworks are illegal in your state or community, don’t use them.  Even if you buy them in another state where they are legally sold, it’s still illegal to set them off where you live.
  • Never use fireworks indoors. Use fireworks outdoors on a flat surface like a parking lot or cul-de-sac away from any vegetation or cars.  Never set off fireworks in your yard, on grass, or near beds and trees.
  • Follow all directions on the fireworks. Read the label carefully before igniting.  Use as intended.  Never combine different fireworks products.  Never make and set off homemade fireworks.
  • Always have water ready in case of fire. A hose is best, but several buckets of water will do.
  • Wear gloves and safety glasses when lighting fireworks.
  • Make sure spectators are a safe distance away. Make sure children are with their parents.  Never let children run around during a fireworks display.
  • Never relight a “dud” under any circumstances.
  • Dispose of all used fireworks and duds by soaking them in a bucket of water first, and then placing them in an outdoor garbage can.
  • Alcohol and fireworks do not mix. Make sure that the person or people lighting your display are sober.

Sparklers

Children love sparklers.  Follow these simple tips to make sure the kiddos have fun and don’t get burned or injured.

  • Never let children run or wave sparklers when lit. Clothes and hair can easily catch fire if children trip, fall or wave their sparklers wildly around others.
  • Always stand when using a sparkler. Never hold children in your arms.  If a child is not old enough to stand still with their sparkler, they shouldn’t participate.
  • Make sure that there is plenty of space between children when using sparklers. No child should be able to touch another with their arms extended when using sparklers.
  • Never throw lit sparklers.
  • Never hold or use more than one sparkler at a time.
  • When the sparkler goes out, place the stick and wire in a bucket of water.

Pets

Pets are most often frightened by fireworks.  They’re afraid of the noise and uneasy in crowded venues.  Even the calmest and most well behaved pet may react badly when frightened by running away, having an “accident” in the house, biting, and destroying property.  Protect your pet by taking some basic and common sense precautions.

  • Keep your pet indoors in a confined safe space. Never leave them outdoors.
  • Never take them with you to a fireworks display and don’t leave them locked in your car.
  • If your pet is sensitive to noise, leave the TV or radio on to distract them.
  • If your pet is nervous and high-strung, consult your veterinarian before the holiday.

Other safety precautions

It’s July… the weather is hot and sunny.  Don’t forget these summertime precautions.

  • Don’t forget your sunscreen and hat. Children are especially vulnerable to sunburn.
  • Remember the insect repellent.
  • Don’t risk dehydration and sunstroke. Drink lots of water and look for shady spots to picnic.
  • If you’re hosting a party, watch out for food spoilage. Bring refrigerated food out right before eating and put it away as soon as the meal is finished.  Don’t let food sit in the hot sun.
  • Wear protective gear for outdoor activities and sports.

If you follow these common-sense rules, your 4th of July will be a wonderful, fun-filled day that you and all your guests will enjoy and remember.

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