How to Celebrate Safely
If childhood memories of 4th of July festivities include such harmless fun as swimming holes and homemade ice cream, feel free to revive those traditions this year. But if you intend to “have a blast” (literally) until dawn’s early light, you’d be wise to take a few things into consideration.
Burn in the U.S.A.
The “rocket’s red glare” is a patriotic concept, but not when it’s the red glare of police lights because of illegal rockets you’re setting off in the backyard. If your city regulations forbid personal fireworks – heed the law.
But if you live in an area that allows you to buy, sell and use fireworks, have fun – but be cautious. You don’t want to be responsible for starting a blaze. Keep a water bucket or garden hose nearby while igniting and watching them light the sky. Don’t place fireworks in your pockets and be sure to dispose of them properly. Soak the fireworks and their packaging in water before discarding them in the trash.
Freedom isn’t Accident-Free
If your neighborhood residents are allowed to set off personal fireworks which means you’ll be lighting up a Roman candle, a box of sparklers or a Piccolo Pete, be extremely careful. Remember that there’s a risk of burns, blindness and other possible injuries when you handle fireworks.
A couple of the worst offenders are bottle rockets and the seemingly tame sparklers. You can injure your fingers while twirling the long wands in the air because they burn at high temperatures. Plus, unfortunately, we tend to let kids handle sparklers when they’re too young to heed safety precautions.
There are several effective ways to minimize the possibility of a 4th of July emergency:
- Point fireworks away from people, houses and vegetation.
- Don’t try to relight a dud, which is a firework that doesn’t ignite the first time.
- Never handle fireworks if you’ve been drinking alcohol.
- Wear safety goggles.
Stars & Scrapes
Celebrating outdoors with friends can mean fun in the sun. But sometimes mishaps turn a great day into a disaster. Consider the following rules:
- Hire or assign a lifeguard if swimming is a part of the party. Drownings often occur during group events, as no one assumes responsibility to keep a watchful eye.
- Use insect repellant to prevent insect bites and cover your skin with sunblock to minimize burning.
- Monitor grills at all times to keep little ones from burning fingers. Keep individuals at least 3 feet away from the barbecue.
In all likelihood, it will be an incredible nation’s birthday as always. But taking the time to go over details can make doubly sure it’s a safe holiday and leaves you with only memories of a good time.
After all, remembering the 4th of July should include signing the Declaration of Independence, not signing an incident report!