By Deanne Winslett
The Fourth of July is right around the corner, and many Americans will celebrate Independence Day with barbecues, fireworks, and other holiday fun. Preserve the fun by celebrating the holiday safely and being mindful of firework, grill, and water safety best practices.
Confirm that fireworks are legal in your area before using your own. Keep them away from children and never throw or point them toward people, animals, vehicles, structures, or flammable materials. Keep water available nearby in case you need it. The person lighting the fireworks should wear eye protection and only light one firework at a time, Don’t attempt to relight “dud” fireworks. Store fireworks away from children and pets in a cool, dry place.
Grilling fires are responsible for an average of over 10,000 home fires yearly in the U.S., but they can be prevented! Reduce your risk for a home fire by always supervising a barbecue grill when using it and don’t add charcoal starter fluid after the coals have been ignited. Never grill indoors in the house, a camper, a tent, or any enclosed area. Keep people, including children and pets, away from the grill, and keep the grill away from the house and anything flammable. Use long-handled cooking tools designed for use with a grill.
The weather is warming up and many people may plan to celebrate the holiday on the water. Supervise children closely and constantly when in or near water. Children, inexperienced swimmers, and boaters should wear properly fitted U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets. Learn swimming and water survival skills and stick to swimming in lifeguarded areas. Pools and spas should be fenced with adequate barriers.
For more tips on water safety visit: RedCross.org/watersafety