Celebrating the Fourth Safely

The Fourth of July is a quintessential summer holiday. While celebrating the birth of our nation there's a lot of fun activities Americans take part in, but being aware of the risks and properly prepared will ensure they stay fun for everyone.  

Grilling

Many backyard gatherings are centered around the grill and the family’s resident chef who is creating all the enticing aromas.

Did You Know: In spite of how great grilled foods taste, gas and charcoal grills account for an average of 10 deaths, 100 injuries and $40 million in property loss each year, according to the United States Fire Administration.

Recipe for Grilling Safety

To avoid becoming a grilling mishap statistic, we’ve cooked up the following safety precautions:

  1. Do not let children and pets play near the grilling area when cooking until the grill is completely cool.
  2. Place your grill at least three feet away from other objects including your house, trees and outdoor seating.
  3. Use starter fluid for barbecue grills that use charcoal only. Do not use starter fluid for gas grills.
  4. Check the connection between the propane tank and the fuel line to make sure it is not leaking and is working properly before using a gas grill.
  5. If you suspect that your gas grill is leaking, turn off the gas and get the unit fixed before lighting. Never use a match to check for leaks.
  6. Do not bring your grill into an ventilated or enclosed space such as the garage or inside of your home. This is not only a major fire hazard; it is also a carbon monoxide hazard.

 

Fireworks

Most fireworks are considered illegal in MA. Even so, many cross state lines to have them for the Fourth of July. Unfortunately, many people do not realize just how dangerous fireworks and sparklers can be—which is a primary reason that injuries occur. Fireworks can not only injure the users, but can also affect bystanders. Bottle rockets and firecrackers can fly in any direction and may explode on or near someone instead of up in the air.

Sparklers are also a huge risk, as they burn at very high temperatures and are often given to children too young to use them safely. All fireworks pose potential risks of burn, blindness and other injury. They can also be incredibly disruptive for those who suffer from PTSD or have pets scared but loud explosions. Be a good neighbor, and consider finding a professional display to watch or forgoing them this year for a family campfire.

 

Swimming Safely

Though splashing and diving is carefree fun, a backyard pool comes with serious responsibilities, too. From poolside party safety tips to supervision, there are many general safety precautions you can take to make sure your friends and family enjoy the pool safely.

  1. Review any posted pool rules. If none are posted some standards include: "No Diving, No Running, No Unsupervised Swimming."
  2. Use the buddy system. No one should swim alone or without making someone else aware.
  3. Avoid pool grates or filters systems.
  4. No swimming for at least 30 minutes if you hear thunder or see lightening.
  5. Keep rescue or safety equipment and a phone near the pool area in case of an emergency.