It’s safe to say that the Fourth of July is one of America’s favorite holidays. And how could it not be? Each year, we celebrate America’s birthday with great food, fireworks, and plenty of red, white and blue. However, while you are busy celebrating with family and friends, fire and law enforcement officials are busy responding to the increase in incidents that will occur during the holiday.
Don’t forget to keep these important safety tips in mind to keep your festivities fun and accident-free. The American Red Cross has provided the following safety tips to protect you and your loved ones for a happy – and safe – Fourth of July!
HIGHWAY SAFETY Millions of people will be on the highways over the Fourth of July weekend. Here are five things everyone should do to stay safe while traveling:
Do not drink and drive.
Buckle seat belts, observe speed limits.
Pay full attention to the road – don’t use a cell phone to call or text.
Use caution in work zones.
Clean the vehicle’s lights and windows to help the driver see, especially at night. Turn the headlights on as dusk approaches, or during inclement weather.
FIREWORKS SAFETY The best way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public fireworks show put on by professionals. Here are five safety steps for people setting fireworks off at home:
Never give fireworks to small children, and always follow the instructions on the packaging.
Keep a supply of water close by as a precaution.
Make sure the person lighting fireworks always wears eye protection.
Light only one firework at a time and never attempt to relight “a dud.”
Never throw or point a firework toward people, animals, vehicles, structures or flammable materials.
GRILLING SAFETY Every year people are injured while using charcoal or gas grills. Here are several steps to safely cook up treats for the backyard barbecue:
Always supervise a barbecue grill when in use.
Never grill indoors – not in the house, camper, tent, or any enclosed area.
Make sure everyone, including the pets, stays away from the grill.
Keep the grill out in the open, away from the house, the deck, tree branches, or anything that could catch fire.
Use the long-handled tools specially made for cooking on the grill to keep the chef safe.
WATER SAFETY If your holiday plans include water fun, follow these tips to help stay safe:
Do your part, be water smart! Ensure that everyone in the family learns to swim well.
Adults: actively supervise children; stay within arm’s reach of young children and newer swimmers. And kids follow the rules.
Don’t fool with a pool: fence it in. Enclose your pool and spa with four-sided, four-foot fencing and use self-closing, self-latching gates.
Don’t just pack it; wear your U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket – always when on a boat and if in a situation beyond your skill level. Inflatable children’s toys and water wings can be fun, but they are no substitute for a life jacket and adult supervision.
Swim as a pair near a lifeguard’s chair – everyone, including experienced swimmers, should swim with a buddy in areas protected by lifeguards.
Reach or throw, don’t go! Know what to do to help someone in trouble, without endangering yourself; know how and when to call 9-1-1, and know CPR.
Follow these general safety tips to ensure you and your loved ones enjoy the holiday under safe conditions. Even when practicing safety and care during your celebration, it is still possible for accidents to happen. If you or a loved one is injured due to the negligence of another, contact the Personal Injury Department at Young Wooldridge, LLP for a free initial consultation to learn your options.