4th of July Safety Advice
Make safety part of your Independence Day celebration.
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For millions of us, the July 4th celebration of our nation’s independence includes cookouts, splashing at the pool or beach, and dazzling, colorful fireworks to wind down the day.
Whether you plan to celebrate in your back yard, at a park, on the beach or at a public pool, take a few moments to make safety part of your plans. Here are a few tips to help keep your holiday safe and your memories good ones.
Swimming Safety Tips
Nothing beats the beach or pool to cool off on a hot summer day. If there are people in your group who don’t know how to swim, or aren’t good swimmers, have a safety system in place.
- Keep a watchful eye on everyone in the water.
- Teach children basic water safety tips.
- Keep children away from pool drains, pipes and other openings.
- Have “throwable” flotation devices available.
Grilling Safety Tips
Burgers and hot dogs on the grill are welcome at just about any picnic. To ensure that nothing gets burned (including the food!), here are a few tips for grilling safety:
- Make sure your grill is well away from your home and deck railings, and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
- Keep children and pets away from the grill area.
- Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup.
- Never leave your grill unattended.
- Only use your grill outdoors.
Firework Safety Tips
Fireworks are a great way to celebrate the holiday, but they can be dangerous. Leave lighting them to the pros. Inexperience with fireworks is an easy way to get burned or worse.
In the weeks around July 4, an average 200 people a day go to the emergency room with fireworks-related injuries. Play it safe and let the pros set off the displays.
If you do use home fireworks, the National Council on Fireworks Safety offers these safety tips:
- Don’t allow young children to handle or use fireworks; teens should always be closely supervised.
- Never use fireworks indoors.
- Always have water ready to douse a fire.
- Know your fireworks. Read the caution label before igniting.
- Obey local laws. If fireworks are not legal where you live, do not use them.
- Alcohol and fireworks never mix.
- Wear safety glasses whenever using fireworks.
- Never relight a “dud” firework. Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.
- Soak spent fireworks with water before placing them in an outdoor garbage can.
- Avoid using homemade fireworks or illegal explosives.
- Report illegal explosives, like M-80s, to the fire or police department.
When using sparklers:
- Always remain standing.
- Never hold a child in your arms.
- Never hold or light more than one sparkler at a time.
- Never throw sparklers.
- Sparkler wire and sticks remain hot long after the flame has gone out. Be sure to drop spent sparklers in a bucket of water.
- Teach children not to wave sparklers or run while holding them.
These simple guidelines and common sense tips could make this holiday your safest ever.