Fourth of July Safety!

Leave the Firework Shows to the Pros

The safest way to relish in Fourth of July fireworks is to go to a public fireworks show that is put on by professionals. Try to stay at least 500 feet away from where the fireworks are being set off.  Most states have restrictions on fireworks but if you do attend a gathering with a DIY show, the Red Cross suggests following these safety tips:

  • Never give fireworks to small children and ALWAYS follow the instructions on the packaging
  • Keep a supply of water nearby as a precaution
  • Make sure the person lighting the fireworks is wearing eye protection
  • Light only one firework at a time and never attempt to relight a “dud”
  • Store fireworks in a cool, dry place away from children and pets
  • Never throw or point a firework toward people, animals, vehicles, structures or flammable materials
  • Leave any area immediately where untrained amateurs are using fireworks

Avoid a Barbeque Snafu

Even if you are an avid grilling master, you can never take too many precautions to stay safe. Some tips to keep in mind when grilling include:

  • Keep an eye on your barbeque. It is important to supervise your grill at all times while in use
  • Do not ever use your grill in an enclosed area such as in your home, garage or camper
  • You should keep your grill out in the open and stay clear of your home, deck, trees or anything else that could possibly catch fire
  • Be sure that all party guests, children and pets stay away from the grill
  • Use proper tools. Often times, typical kitchen utensils are not made for grilling. You can purchase long-handled grilling tools to avoid accidentally burning yourself
  • If you are using charcoal, do not add additional lighter fluid to coals that have already been ignited
  • Lastly, ALWAYS follow the manufacturer’s instructions for your grill

Don’t Let the Sun Ruin Your Fun

For many, a trip to the beach is tradition over the Fourth of July holiday. The sun, sand and cool waters are attractive to locals and tourists alike but they can also be dangerous. If you are headed to the beach for some fun in the sun, be prepared and keep these tips in mind:

  • Be aware of weather conditions. Thunderstorms are popular in the summer months and can form very quickly. During a storm you’ll need to leave the water and beach to take shelter from possible lightning strikes
  • If you are drinking alcohol on the beach, do not get in the water. Only go swimming if you are sober and don’t swim alone.
  • For the children- be sure to have life jackets for any child that is an inexperienced swimmer
  • Waves are fun but unpredictable. Keep a close eye on children and adults who might be hit by waves and lose their footing
  • You won’t be the only thing swimming in the ocean. If you see aquatic life, leave it alone. Many aquatic animals could sting or pinch you, especially when you try to pick them up
  • Be aware of possible rip currents. Rip currents can be very strong and cause deaths every year. If you are ever caught in a rip current, the Red Cross advises to swim parallel to the shore until you are out of the current, and once you are free start swimming towards the shore. If you are unable to swim towards the shore, float or tread water until free of the rip current and then try swimming to shore. These currents often exist near piers or jetties. Try to stay at least 100 feet away from such structures
  • Always wear broad spectrum sunscreen while at the beach, even if it is cloudy. Try to limit direct sun exposure between the hours of 10am and 4pm. If you swim or sweat or have been in the sun for more than two hours be sure to re-apply sunscreen
  • Being in the sun can cause dehydration very quickly. Make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated
  • Protect your eyes by wearing sunglasses and when walking around the beach wear shoes to protect your feet. The sand can cause burns to your feet or hide sharp objects that could puncture your skin
  • Be on the lookout for signs of heat stroke. Watch for hot, red skin; fading in and out of consciousness, weak or very rapid pulse, and shallow breathing. If you suspect that a person could be experiencing a heat stroke immediately call 911 and move the person out of the sun to a cool place. The Red Cross says to cool the body by applying cool, wet cloths or towels to the skin. You can also fan the person to keep them cool. Watch for signs of breathing problems and make sure the airway is clear. Keep the person lying down

Have a wonderful Fourth of July holiday and stay safe!