Tips to Stay Safe This July 4

With the July 4 holiday, this year are some changes from what we’re typically accustomed to. For example, many places in Florida are closing the beaches, and several states have closed bars and other venues after a surge in coronavirus cases.

There aren’t going to be the typical gatherings for parades and fireworks either, as most of those are canceled to comply with social distancing requirements as well.

These changes may occur on-and-off throughout the rest of the summer as well, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy yourself.

The following are some things to know to have a safe July 4 and also a safe summer.

Don’t Drink and Drive

This tip for July 4 safety has nothing to do with the coronavirus, but it’s still important. Don’t drink and drive this holiday. If you’re a drunk driver and you cause an accident, your insurance company is liable for damages, and you might also face serious criminal penalties.

If you’re going to drink, stay put at home this Fourth of July and always.

More people could likely be having smaller, more intimate gatherings this year to avoid coronavirus, but don’t let other safety requirements go out the window.

Firework Safety

With nearly all firework shows canceled around the country, more people will likely do their own fireworks at home.

Firework sellers have said they’ve seen jumps of 200% to 300% in sales but unfortunately, the people behind the professional fireworks shows are feeling the pain from show cancelations.

There is also a surge in illegal firework use, likely meant as a way to create disturbances in some of the nation’s bigger cities. For example, New York City received thousands of fireworks complaints during the first half of June.

With that being said, how can you be safe if you are legally going to use fireworks this summer?

A few tips include:

  • Never let children handle fireworks
  • Don’t use fireworks while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Don’t hold a lighted firework
  • Never use fireworks indoors
  • Don’t point fireworks at another person
  • Only use one firework device at a time
  • Don’t ignite any firework device in a container
  • Don’t try to re-light fireworks or handle them if they don’t work properly
  • Before you throw fireworks away, soak them in water for a few hours
  • Have a bucket of water nearby in case you need to extinguish a firework
  • Sparklers that children often handle can also be dangerous, so keep that in mind and be cautious
  • Know the local laws in your area, and while not all fireworks may be illegal where you live, some may be.
  • Don’t use M-class fireworks, which are not only generally dangerous but also unpredictable.
  • Keep your pets inside if you’re going to use fireworks.
  • Wear safety glasses while you shoot fireworks.

Barbecue Safety

Many states aren’t allowing indoor dining right now, or are significantly scaling it back. This might mean cooking more at home, and for the Fourth of July holiday, this could also mean barbecuing.

First of all, be aware of the risks of foodborne illnesses that affect and make sick nearly 50 million Americans a year.

It’s typically not restaurant food that causes the bulk of these illnesses but is instead cooking at home.

Make sure everything is kept cool before it’s cooked and then cooked to the correct temperature. Don’t leave food out for more than an hour if it’s 90 degrees or above.

When you’re grilling, be aware that each year this leads to thousands of fires and many injuries and deaths.

Charcoal grills tend to be more likely to cause fires than gas grills, which is something to keep in mind.

Also, make sure that children are always kept away from grills.

Keep Your Gatherings Small

While we want it to be behind us, the coronavirus is still very much here, so keep that in mind as you’re making your plans for the 4th. If you’re going to have a gathering or go to one, keep it small. Wear your face covering even when you’re with family and friends.

You should also remember general rules for dealing with coronavirus, such as the need to wash and sanitize your hands regularly, and to stay home if you feel unwell.

This year is going to be different for the July 4th holiday, but that doesn’t mean you still can’t enjoy yourself, as long as you do so with safety in mind.

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