Independence Day - July 4th - is a fun holiday with fireworks, patriotism, barbecues and so much more. But with fun, often comes danger! Did you know Independence day is the holiday with the most fires? Fireworks (often coming into contact with decorations) are often a large culprit when looking at the causes of fires over the Independence Day holiday. Fire is just one of the many precautions you and our family can take for firework and decoration safety over the holiday. Read the following tips to keep you and your family safe from fireworks this July 4th. Tip #1 Have a fire extinguisher readily available. This way if there was an accidental fire, the fire can be put out quickly. Tip #2 If you have fireworks, have water buckets and a hose available. This is also important in the case that a fire becomes larger than a small extinguisher can take care of. Tip #3 Alcohol is a favorite of many for the holiday celebrations. However, it is important to keep alcohol away from children and animals and especially out of the hands with those that have fireworks. Alcohol causes judgement impairment and could lead to not only a fire, but other accidents including alcohol poisoning impaired driving, and much more. Be smart and limit your alcohol consumption during the 4th of July. Tip #4 When you are disposing of 4th of July decorations and fireworks, make sure that they are completely free of heat and fire. This way there will not be a smoldering fire happening after the party is over. Tip #5 Make sure that the area you are lighting fireworks off is also free of bushes, dry grass, trees, streamers, balloons, flammable helium, and other fire hazardous materials. Tip #6 Safety includes removing small pieces of balloons, fireworks, and other items that are able to choke small children. Tip #7 Stay away from illegal fireworks. They are illegal due to the increased danger involved with certain types of fireworks. Here is a list of the fireworks to avoid.
- Large re-loadable mortar shells
- Cherry bombs
- M-80 salutes
- Large firecrackers
Memorial Day is a great time to fire up the grill and enjoy the company of friends and family. It’s also a great time to take a road trip or get into the mountains. Whatever your plans are for this memorial day, make sure you’re safe and healthy. Here are a few tips to get the most out of your holiday weekend. Grilling Tips Make sure your food is completely cooked! According to the Center for Disease Control and Protection, approximately 48 million people get food poisoning per year. To avoid getting sick from your grill, use a meat thermometer and make sure any meat you grill is completely cooked. Raw meat can ruin your weekend. Additionally, grills themselves can be dangerous, especially with younger children around. Adults should keep a kid free area of three feet around the grill. Also make sure your grill is clean to avoid flame flare ups and fires while cooking. Travel Memorial Day weekend generally means there are extra cars on the road as people are taking road trips. More cars on the roads is a sure bet that there will be more traffic accidents. According to the National Safety Council, 382 fatalities and 40,900 injuries are expected to occur over the holiday weekend. Drivers should take extra precautions when on the road this Memorial Day weekend. Sun Exposure and Insects It’s likely that many will be spending time outside this weekend. Make sure to cover up to avoid sunburns as well as insect bites. While insects may just be a nuisance to some, they're much more dangerous to others. For those allergic to insect stings, health officials recommend you carry an EpiPen on you in the event of a severe allergic reaction. Also be on the lookout for ticks if you’re planning to go hiking or be out on the trails. Tick season is here. Have a safe and happy Memorial Day!
- Always have an adult supervise firework activities to ensure your children’s safety. Many parents don’t realize that young children can even suffer injuries from sparklers since they burn at temperatures of about 2,00o degrees - hot enough to melt some metals.
- Always have a bucket of water or a water hose ready just in case there is a fire.
- Keep your pets indoors to reduce the risk that they'll run loose or get injured. Also, animals have sensitive ears and can be extremely frightened or stressed by the fireworks.
- Never relight a malfunctioning or “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.
- If you have any fireworks left, store them in a cool, dry area.
- Only use legal fireworks which are clearly labeled with instructions.