Most Americans spend the 4th of July weekend swimming, BBQing, and enjoying fireworks. It’s a great time to catch up with family and friends and celebrate our great country.
Unfortunately, this holiday also brings more trips to the ER than most other days of the year. Between traffic accidents, firework disasters, and grilling mishaps, there are many ways to get hurt during the 4th of July celebrations.
Luckily, there are some simple steps you can take to ensure a fun and safe weekend.
- Follow the local firework laws. Fireworks that leave the ground are illegal in all of Colorado, but each county has its own guidelines for other types of firecrackers. 9 News lists the laws and regulations for each county for the summer of 2021.
- Keep kids clear of any area where fireworks are being lit. Kids can run up at the last minute, so make sure there’s an adult in charge of any kids nearby.
- Dress Safely. Wear close toed shoes and consider eye and ear protection.
- Don’t shoot anything towards cars, houses, plants or people. Be careful not to damage any property or injure anyone. Colorado has a very dry climate, so if a firework hits a tree or a patch of grass a fire can spread quickly. Soaking nearby trees or bushes before lighting any fireworks can help avoid a fire.
- Have water handy. Keeping a fire hose or a bucket of water nearby can prevent an accidental fire.
- Keep your pets in a safe place. Many dogs get really anxious on the 4th of July and are more likely to escape. If you think your dog may get nervous about fireworks, consult your vet about the best way to help them.
- Make sure someone is watching the grill. Avoid a potential fire by keeping a close eye on the grill while it’s on, and keep kids away from the hot surface.
- Clean your grill before the BBQ. Built-up grease can cause a fire that could quickly spread to your house.
- Keep your grill a safe distance from your house or fence. The National Fire Protection Association recommends keeping grills at least 10 feet from any structure.
- Check the temperature of food. Use a meat thermometer to make sure all food is fully cooked before you serve it to your guests. You could find yourself on the other end of a lawsuit if you give everyone food poisoning.
- Don’t let your guests drink and drive. Encourage a designated driver, Uber/Lyft, or let people spend the night if drinking will be involved. The 4th of July weekend is notorious for increased drinking and driving accidents. Do your part to keep the roads and your friends safe.
- Consider the weather conditions before deciding to swim. Some conditions can create undercurrents that can increase the risk of drowning.
- Don’t leave kids unattended. Looking away for even a minute could lead to a terrible accident. Floaties and life jackets can help keep kids safe, but there still needs to be an adult watching at all times.
- Avoid drinking while swimming. Your reflexes can be dulled from alcohol consumption and may increase the risk of injury.
- Don’t dive until you check the depth of the water. Always go feet first unless you’re sure you won’t hit your head.
- Try not to swallow the water. There can be harmful bacteria that can cause illness.
- If you’re taking a boat out, watch for swimmers and other watercraft. Keep life jackets on board and encourage your passengers to wear them in case of an accident.
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