Every summer, Americans come together to celebrate our country with loud fireworks, hot grills and cold drinks. The 4th of July can be a fantastic time to spend with loved ones but comes with a fair share of risks of which you should be cautious. Prepare for the festivities and fun with these 4th of July safety tips.
Five Important 4th of July Safety Tips
- Fireworks: A staple for the occasion, fireworks play a big part in many 4th of July celebrations. However, when not handled with care, fireworks can also cause serious injuries. Always use caution when lighting fireworks, being sure to do so safely outside and away from guests. For young children, you may also want to provide ear protection.
Additionally, be conscious of pets that may be spooked by the loud fireworks. It may be wise to keep dogs and cats safely in a room until the festivities end.
- Grilling: Whether grilling up cheeseburgers or bratwurst this 4th of July, you need to prioritize safety when dealing with open flames and potential food safety issues. Keep children away from the grill and never leave it unmonitored. Even stepping away from five minutes is an unnecessary risk, as flame ups can happen in just seconds. Ensure that your grill is safely placed far enough from your home or overhead structures that may be at risk of catching fire if flames rise too high.
Additionally, be sure to cook all food to a safe minimum temperature. Undercooking food can put you at risk for E. coli, salmonella and food-borne illnesses that you certainly want to avoid.
- Swimming: Many Americans enjoy the taking a dip in the pool or heading to one of Florida’s beaches for the holiday. Swimming can be great fun for the whole family, but be sure to never leave children unaccompanied. Instruct your kids to never run on the wet pool deck or inside after getting out of the pool, as slip and fall risks are common on wet, hard surfaces.
Florida’s summers are notorious for extreme weather changes. Be sure to check the weather forecast the morning of the 4th to plan out your outdoor activities so you are not caught in a dangerous thunderstorm. If a storm does sneak up on your beach day or poolside relaxation time, immediately seek shelter at the first sign of thunder.
- Sunscreen: Even if you are not planning on a day at the beach or poolside, if you are going to be outside, sunscreen is a must. The sun’s powerful rays can make their way through clouds and even some clothing, making even minutes outside put you at risk of burning without some protection. Apply sunscreen, reapply as needed and consider wearing a hat and sunglasses for added eye protection.
- Alcohol: As always, alcohol should be enjoyed responsibly. A holiday is no excuse for recklessness, especially when many of the activities associated with the 4th can be dangerous if not done with safety as a top priority. Practice moderation and do not drink and drive this 4th of July.
Though there are many risks associated with the holiday, these 4th of July safety tips can keep you and your loved ones safe while you enjoy fun in the sun. Use caution with fireworks, grill safely, watch your children when swimming, apply sunscreen and drink responsibly–it is the American way.