Grilling, fireworks and the beach – sounds like a typical 4th of July holiday! But before you pack your picnic and depart for that three day weekend ahead, consider that the very ingredients that make for a splendid summer day can also lead to danger.
The safety experts at Aftermath understand that accidents happen. Because our business is centered around helping families recover from tragedy, we see first hand the devastation and difficulties that follow when a serious injury or death occurs at home. Ensure your Independence Day weekend is filled with celebration and not regret with these top safety tips that will help keep the good times rolling, all summer long:
While big displays draw crowds, some families also enjoy fireworks at home. Remember, each state may have laws which prohibit certain types of devices, so be sure to check local ordinances before purchasing. Additionally, you may wish to consider the size of your outdoor space and whether your home insurance policy will cover any incident that may occur. If you choose to include fireworks in your festivities, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Children love fireworks. Many of us remember the excitement of playing with sparklers or poppers. However, seemingly innocent toys like sparklers account for nearly one quarter of emergency room fireworks injuries. Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities and never allow children to ignite fireworks.
- For added precaution, one website suggests handling sparklers with a Solo cut. Simply poke a hole in an upsidedown plastic cup and allowing the cup to shield your child’s hand while they hold the sparker. While not foolproof, this method does provide an extra measure of safety against burns. For more age-appropriate tips for using fireworks, check out this helpful guide.
- If you set off fireworks at home, keep a bucket of water handy in case of malfunction or fire. If fireworks malfunction, don’t attempt to relight them. Douse them with water then throw them away.
Home on the Range…or the Grill
Whether you keep it simple with just a few burgers and brats, or pull out all the stops for a gourmet gathering, this advice will help you serve up fun this 4th of July.
- Use your grill well away from your home and deck railings, and out from under branches or overhangs.
Open your gas grill before lighting.
- Keeping your grill clean will not only help your food taste better, but it will help reduce the risk of dangerous flare ups and grease fires. Periodically remove grease or fat buildup in trays below your gas or propane grill so it cannot be ignited.
- Remember that even a closed grill is technically an open flame. Follow the same basic safety precautions you would around any open fire. Declare a three-foot “kid and pet-free zone” around the grill area to keep them safe, and avoid wearing any loose clothing that can catch fire when cooking.
Life’s a Beach
When the sun is out and temperatures rise, nothing beats cooling down on the beach. If you have a swimming pool, you may decide to forgo the crowds – but safety shouldn’t stop at the front porch. Wherever there is water, there is risk. Don’t let an accident ruin your fun. Review these basic tips, and for more swimming safety information, visit the American Red Cross website on water safety.
- When you first arrive at the beach, familiarize yourself with the area. Establish a location where you can easily supervise any activities, and remind children to use the buddy system. Check for hazards, including any warning signs or flags that are in effect that might impact your day. Also take note of where safety equipment is located, as well as life guard and first aid stations.
- If you have a pool at home, follow the same precautions you would on the beach. Never leave children unsupervised. Invest in flotation devices and proper life vests for smaller members of the family. Finally, establish firm rules for behavior around the water.
- Speaking of emergencies, it’s good to be prepared. If you plan to spend time around the water regularly, consider a class in CPR – you never know when it might save a life. At minimum, make sure every member of the family knows how to swim, as well as how to respond in the case of a water-related accident.
Stay Safe, No Matter What Occurs
Play it cool this summer and stay safe! There are plenty of websites that offer additional 4th of July safety tips. Today.com’s recent article is a great place to start.
But even if you’re armed with good advice and resources, accidents can still happen. Unpredictable and tragic events can turn your home into a biohazard scene. If you experience an accident or other incident in your place of residence, know that Aftermath Services is there to assist you with cleaning – even on a holiday weekend. Call us any time at 877-872-4339 for nationwide trauma cleanup. Technicians are available 24/7 to take your call.