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5 great tips for a safe 4th of July you need to know

The Fourth of July is a time to celebrate the independence and freedom of the United States with family and friends. However, it can also be a time of potential hazards and risks, such as fireworks, grilling, swimming, and COVID-19.

Here are some tips to help you enjoy a safe and fun holiday.

Be safe this 4th of July with the fireworks

Fireworks are a traditional part of the 4th of July festivities. However, they can also cause serious injury and fire if not handled properly.

According to the American Red Cross, the safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a professional public fireworks show.

Stay at least 500 feet (0.15 km) away from the show and follow the local guidelines for your area.

If you plan to use your own fireworks, make sure they are legal in your state and follow these safety steps:

  • Never give small children fireworks. Besides, never throw or point a firework toward people, animals, vehicles, structures, or flammable materials.
  • Follow the instructions and advice written on the firework packaging.
  • Keep a supply of enough water close by as an unexpected event precaution.
  • Make sure the person lighting the fireworks is wearing eye protection.
  • Light only one firework at a time, and never attempt to relight “a dud”.
  • Always store fireworks in a cool, dry place away from children and pets.

Grilling Safety

Grilling is a popular way to cook delicious food for the Fourth of July, but it can also pose a fire hazard if not done correctly. The American Red Cross advises against grilling indoors.

Likewise, they recommend getting away from anything that could catch fire, such as the house, the deck, tree branches, or curtains.

Always supervise the grill when in use. Also, use long-handled tools especially made for cooking on the grill.

To prevent food poisoning, wash your hands before preparing food. On the other hand, keep perishable foods in a cooler with plenty of ice or freezer gel packs.

Don’t leave food out in the hot sun for too long, and cook meat to the proper temperature.

Be safe this 4th of July on the roads

The Fourth of July is a popular time for road trips, grilling, and travel, but it can also be a dangerous time.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more people die in drunk driving crashes in July than in any other month of the year.

Here are some tips to help you stay safe on the roads this Fourth of July:

  • Plan ahead. Before you hit the road, make sure your vehicle is in good condition. Also, check the weather forecast and road conditions for your route, and pack an emergency kit with everyone’s necessary items.
  • Documents. Make sure your vehicle documents, such as the insurance policy, are active and cover all possible unexpected events.
  • Avoid peak traffic times. The Fourth of July weekend is expected to be one of the busiest travel periods of the year, with millions of Americans hitting the roads. So, take the necessary forecasts regarding the travel schedule and avoid being in a hurry on the road.
  • Drive responsibly. One of the most essential tips for a safe Fourth of July on the roads is to drive responsibly. This means following the speed limit and wearing your seat belt. Also, avoid distractions such as texting or eating, and never drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs. 
  • Be courteous and alert. Another tip for a safe Fourth of July on the roads is to be courteous and alert to other drivers and road users. Share the road with motorcycles, bicycles, and pedestrians, and give them enough space and respect. Use your turn signals, headlights, and horn when necessary, but avoid aggressive behavior. Look for road hazards such as debris, potholes, or animals.
  • Furthermore, keep in mind that, depending on the state where you are, if you lend your car, you could be responsible for the accident caused by the driver.

Water Safety

If you plan to spend some time at the beach, pool, or lake on the Fourth of July, make sure you and your loved ones are water-smart. Drowning is one of the leading causes of death for children and teens in the US, so it is essential to follow these water safety tips:

  • Swim only at a beach with a professional lifeguard and within the designated swimming area.
  • Watch and obey all instructions and orders from lifeguards.
  • It is recommended to designate a person in your group like a “water watcher”. Children, inexperienced swimmers, and all boaters should wear properly fitted U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets.
  • Protect your neck: don’t dive in headfirst. Walk carefully into open waters.
  • If you are caught in a rip current, stay calm and don’t fight it. Swim parallel to the shore until you are out of the current, and then head toward shore. If you can’t swim to shore, float or tread water until you are free of the rip current and then head toward shore. Draw attention to yourself by waving and calling for help.

COVID-19 Safety

The COVID-19 pandemic is still ongoing, so it is important to take precautions to protect yourself and others from getting infected.

The American Red Cross recommends maintaining social distance by staying 6 feet (1.83 m) away from others, especially if you are at high risk for serious illness from COVID-19 (over age 65 or any age with underlying medical conditions).

Continue to wear cloth face coverings in public, especially when social distancing is difficult.

Follow guidelines for your area regarding how large gatherings can be, and avoid crowds and mass gatherings.

Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily, and stay home if you are sick.

Final words

The Fourth of July is a great opportunity to celebrate America’s history and values with your loved ones.

By following these tips for a safe Fourth of July, you can ensure that your holiday is safe and enjoyable for everyone.

Please stay safe!

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