The Fourth of July, also known as Independence Day, is right around the corner. Whether you’re planning on barbecuing in your backyard, watching fireworks or attending a local parade, you should follow some basic safety tips to lower your risk of injury. Below are six tips on how to stay safe this Independence Day.
#1) Don’t Relight Fireworks
When launching fireworks into the night sky this Independence Day, don’t attempt to relight them. According to the Consumer Protection Safety Commission (CPSC), nearly 300 people are injured by fireworks each year on this holiday. If a firework doesn’t launch after lighting it, don’t attempt to relight it. Otherwise, it may explode while injuring you and anyone else around you.
#2) Keep Water Nearby
Another safety tip to reduce your risk of injury when launching fireworks this Independence Day is to keep water nearby. Whether it’s a garden hose or a bucket of water, you can use it to quickly douse “dud” fireworks that didn’t launch. And if a fire happens to spread because of a firework, you can extinguish it using the water.
#3) Stay Off the Roads
There’s typically a spike in vehicle-related injuries on Independence Day due to the influx of motorists on the road. As a result, you should try to minimize the amount of time you spend driving on this federal holiday. You don’t have to completely refrain from driving this Independence Day. Rather, try to plan your activities so that you don’t have to drive for a substantial amount of time on Independence Day.
#4) Check for Local Restrictions
It’s a good idea to check your city’s or county’s official website to see if they have any restrictions on using fireworks. If you live in an area that’s experiencing a dry spell, government officials may prohibit residents from launching fireworks, as this could cause a wildfire that spreads throughout the dry land. If you discover fireworks are prohibited in your area, don’t launch any on Independence Day.
#5) Protect Your Ears
Fireworks can be pretty loud, so it’s not a bad idea to wear ear protection this Independence Day. A pair of noise-canceling headphones will allow you to enjoy the fireworks display without jeopardizing your sense of hearing.
#6) Cook Food at a Safe Temperature
When grilling or barbecuing food this Independence Day, be sure to cook it at a safe temperature. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 38 million Americans fall ill to foodborne illness each year. By checking your food with a thermometer, you can protect yourself, as well as your family and guests, from foodborne illness.