The 4th of July is a time when families can gather and enjoy grilling out, laughing, and brilliant fireworks. Every year, more than 7000 people are injured in 4th of July related activities. Preventing these injuries involves taking a bit more time ensuring the safety of others and understanding the simplest safety precautions are often the best advice.
10. Keep pets indoors during the hottest parts of the day. At night, pets should be secured to prevent injury from fireworks.
9. Food borne illness can be a big concern with family and friends arriving at different times throughout the day. Cold foods should be kept cold and hot foods hot. When proper temperatures are not used, foods can quickly breed bacteria that may cause food poisoning.
8. Drink responsibly. Injuries from fireworks can be attributed to mishandling of fire and explosives, but drinking also comes into play. Drinking has become a huge part of many 4th of July festivities, but a designated group of people needs to stay sober for the safety of children and adults.
7. Douse grilling coals with water after use. Grilling out with charcoal creates the smell of summer. When foods are cooked and the grill is no longer needed, douse the coals with water to put out the fire. Coals left unattended may cause fire or injury to unattended children.
6. Drive safely even if you are not the one drinking. Designated drivers are deemed the saviors of any party where adult beverages are served, but not every party allots designated drivers. Sometimes, other drivers are the ones to worry about. If possible, stay at a location near the party site. Another option is to suggest tents be staked in the yard for a bit of late night fun and driver safety.
5. Never drink and drive. Drinking one bottle of beer or mixed drink is enough to alter visual perception of the road and ability to make decisions. At no time should drinking and driving be considered safe. When in doubt, call a cab or ask a sober friend to drive.
4. Review fireworks laws. Many cities, towns, and communities do not allow fireworks that leave the ground. Sparklers and other smaller ground level fireworks may not be included in those prohibited. Before planning any 4th of July party, call or visit the local law enforcement office and ask for a list of legal fireworks.
3. Keep water nearby. Fireworks can cause fire. Keeping a large tub of water or water hose nearby is crucial for fire safety during the 4th of July party. If the fire grows quickly, remove all people from the area and dial 911.
2. Children should never light fireworks. Children may seem like miniature-grown adults, but they do not have the adult responsibility that comes with growing older. Children should never light fireworks and should be kept as far away from fireworks as possible. Even sparklers can cause a devastating burn, so review sparkler safety with all children at the party.
1. Have safe fun. Safe fun includes planning for the best and preparing for the worst. With family, friends, and neighbors all enjoying one space, time can move quickly and decisions can be altered by alcohol. Designated hosts can help to ensure everyone is having a safe and fun 4th of July.