Ahead of the Fourth of July holiday, Acadian Ambulance would like to remind the public to celebrate safely.
Firework and water sports injuries are the most common injuries, along with those caused by grilling, alcohol and motor vehicle crashes.
- The best safety against fireworks is to leave them to the professionals. If you or others use them, light them outdoors in a clear area, away from buildings, cars and trees.
- Don’t allow children to light fireworks, especially if there’s no adult around. Even sparklers can reach a temperature up to 2,000 degrees.
- Keep a bucket of water or fire extinguisher nearby in case of rogue sparks.
- Wet used fireworks before throwing them away to ensure embers are put out.
- If at a pool or on a beach, lake or river, make sure everyone, adults and children alike, wears a properly fitting life jacket.
- Don’t drink while driving a boat or vehicle.
- Don’t float in the water near the boat’s exhaust, which contains high levels of carbon monoxide.
- Watch for incoming weather, and don’t swim or boat if there is lightning activity nearby.
- Always watch children who are in or near the water.
- Keep pets in the house during fireworks. Secure them in a small interior room with a radio or TV playing to drown out noise. Windows and doors should be closed to keep the noise out and your pet in.
- At the beach, know how to spot a rip current and how to escape from one.
- Stay hydrated if out in the sun – drink water even if you don’t feel thirsty.
- Use sunscreen and wear protective clothing when out in the sun.
- Never text while driving.
These 10 Fourth of July safety tips come from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region V:
- Be sure fireworks are legal in your area before using or buying them.
- Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities and never allow children to play with or ignite fireworks. Sparklers alone account for one quarter of emergency room fireworks injuries.
- If you set off fireworks, keep a bucket of water handy in case of malfunction or fire.
- If fireworks malfunction, don’t relight them! Douse and soak them with water, then throw them away.
- Never ignite fireworks in a container, especially one that is glass or metal.
- Use your grill well away from your home and deck railings, and out from under branches or overhangs.
- Open your gas grill before lighting.
- Periodically remove grease or fat buildup in trays below your gas or propane grill so it cannot be ignited.
- Declare a three-foot “kid- and pet-free zone” around the grill to keep them safe.
- Avoid loose clothing that can catch fire when cooking on the grill.