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Fourth of July Safety Tips

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Photo: SFGate

Nothing says “summer” like backyard barbecues and fireworks on the Fourth of July. Independence Day is a great excuse to get together with family and enjoy some nice weather. Unfortunately, it is also the most dangerous holiday of the year. Alcohol, fireworks, and crowded pools contribute to large amount of injuries occurring each year. So, with the holiday fast approaching, keep these important safety tips in mind.

Use extreme care when handling fireworks. Fireworks are a culprit for severe burns and wildfires when mishandled. If you plan on celebrating with fireworks this year, follow these tips from the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission:

  • Never let young children play with or ignite fireworks.
  • Always have a garden hose or a bucket of water on hand.
  • Never try to relight or pick up a firework that didn’t go off.
  • Light fireworks one at a time, on a flat, dry surface.
  • Never have any part of your body over a firework devise as you are lighting the fuse.

Grill safely at home. Each year people are injured while barbecuing on charcoal or gas grills. Ensure your family stays safe at your backyard-BBQ with these tips from the Red Cross.

  • Always supervise a grill when it is in use.
  • Never grill indoors or under any enclosed area.
  • Keep the grill out in the open and away from anything that could catch fire—like tree branches or your house.
  • Use long-handled tools specialized for grilling.
  • Never add charcoal fire starter after the grill starts.

Stay safe while swimming. If you plan on taking your family to the beach or lake this year, stay afloat with these water safety precautions from PGE:

  • If your child is under 13, they are required to wear a coast guard-approved life jacket on moving boats that are less than 26 feet in length.
  • Never jump or dive (or let your kids jump or dive) into unfamiliar water. There could be submerged rocks or trees that can cause injury.
  • Don’t swim or let your kids play near a powerhouse or dam—these areas could have strong underwater currents and other submerged hazards.

Don’t forget about your pets! As fun as the Fourth of July is for humans, all the commotion can be dangerous and stressful to animals. Keep your pets happy and safe with this guidance from the ASPCA:

  • Alcohol is poisonous to animals, so don’t leave drinks unattended where pets could reach them.
  • Sunscreen and insect repellent is for human use only, so unless you bought specialized SPF for your dog don’t share your sunblock with them.
  • Never put glow sticks on your pets- they are highly toxic.
  • Leave your animals at home and inside the house. Fireworks and crowds are no fun for pets; they can get scared and disoriented by the sounds.

With these tips in mind, you should enjoy a safe Fourth of July with family and friends.

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