As the old adage goes, it’s better to be safe than sorry. This couldn’t be more pertinent than during our annual Independence Day celebrations. The Fourth of July is undoubtedly one of the most anticipated events of the year. The occasion is rife with festive parades, fireworks, cookouts, and countless other jovial activities. As we collectively express our patriotic fervor, it’s paramount to remember that safety should always be a top priority. Below, we discuss a few crucial tips for ensuring a safe and delightful July 4th.
Firework Safety: Let Professionals Light Up the Sky
The excitement and splendor of fireworks are synonymous with Independence Day. However, fireworks can also be hazardous if not handled correctly. In 2020 alone, U.S. hospital emergency rooms treated approximately 15,600 people for firework-related injuries around July 4th. To mitigate the risks, it’s highly recommended to attend public fireworks shows conducted by professionals. These shows are not only spectacular but also comply with safety regulations. If local laws permit you to use fireworks at home, ensure everyone maintains a safe distance, never relight a “dud,” and have a bucket of water or a hose nearby for emergencies.
Barbecue Safety: Grill With Caution
No July 4th celebration is complete without a traditional barbecue. As you prepare those succulent steaks and juicy burgers, bear in mind that grilling carries its own set of risks. Never leave a lit grill unattended and keep children and pets a safe distance away. Ensure the grill is situated away from home structures, deck railings, and overhanging branches. Regularly cleaning the grill to remove grease or fat buildup can also prevent unexpected flare-ups.
Heat and Sun Exposure: Shield Yourself
July 4th celebrations typically involve outdoor activities under the summer sun. This poses the risk of heat exhaustion, dehydration, and sunburn. Drinking plenty of water, applying sunscreen with a high SPF, wearing lightweight, light-colored clothing, and taking frequent breaks in the shade can help protect you and your family from the scorching sun.
Water Safety: Don’t Dive In Unprepared
If your celebrations involve a pool, beach, or any other body of water, ensure everyone is closely supervised. Drowning can happen swiftly and silently, making vigilant supervision imperative. Use life jackets as needed, especially for children or weak swimmers, and always swim in designated areas under lifeguard supervision.
Road Safety: Drive Sober and Aware
July 4th is also one of the most dangerous days to be on the road, with a high incidence of alcohol-related accidents. If you plan on drinking, designate a sober driver or arrange for a rideshare. Remember, buzzed driving is drunk driving. Always buckle up, follow speed limits, and keep an eye out for pedestrians.
Independence Day is about celebrating our freedom and the spirit of America. As we commemorate our nation’s history, let’s do so safely and responsibly. Whether you’re setting off fireworks, grilling, soaking up the sun, swimming, or driving, taking these precautions can ensure a happy and safe July 4th. Let’s make safety the cornerstone of our celebrations, ensuring a day filled with fun, joy, and unforgettable memories, free of accidents and injuries.
Here’s to a safe and fantastic Fourth of July!