With the 4th of July coming up, the weekend will be filled with plans of fireworks shows, outdoor parties, and parties at the lake. With all of the excitement and commotion, we all need to be sure to remember to keep safety in mind while planning our various parties. Here are a few things to keep in mind this weekend:
Fireworks are always an exciting part of any Fourth of July celebration. But we always need to use caution when handling them. Remember that you are basically purchasing small hand held explosives! YouTube is littered with videos of people who have fireworks blow up in their hands or faces. While most seem to end up with just minor injuries or some singed hair, the possibility of greater injury is always there.
Just this morning, we had a tragedy in a town 30 miles from here. The city puts on a locally famous fireworks show every year at the local high school football stadium. A load of fireworks exploded, tragically killing one person, and sending 4 others to the hospital with extensive injuries. The city has chosen to cancel the show in light of this.
Most cities have a fireworks ban within the city limits, so please keep that in mind as well.
With the warm weather, it makes for a perfect season to fire up the grill and cook some burgers or steaks for friends and family. While this is fun for everybody involved, it can quickly turn to disaster if the fire gets out of control. Be sure to keep all fires contained and keep fire extinguishers handy just in case. Many parts of the country have been in drought conditions, and the surrounding landscape can flame up with just an errant spark or ash. If possible, it’s always a good idea to keep the grill on a concrete-type surface. Also, be aware of overhead hazards. Flames travel upwards. You don’t want a low hanging branch (or hour house eaves) catching fire because you got overzealous with the lighter fluid.
Also, keep in mind that some places have a burn ban going. Always check with local authorities regarding the laws for grilling and outdoor fires.
LAKE AND POOL PARTIES
Going to the lake or lounging at the pool is one of the better features of summer time. Getting the gang together to take the boat out or just cool off in a friend’s pool is one of the less expensive forms of entertainment. We need to be sure to take precautions, though, so that the fun time doesn’t end with a hospital trip or worse.
- Make sure to swim in designated areas only (at a lake), and make sure to use a life jacket if you’re not a strong swimmer. Children should always wear them. If you’re in a boat, it’s the law in most places that life jackets are worn, or at minimum, available.
- Be aware of your surroundings at all time. If you don’t pay attention, you could swim out into the boating sections of the lake and risk injury. Or, if you’re in your boat, you could risk wrecking and/or injuring yourself and your friends. That video link was remixed to be funny, but it could have easily been a tragic video. Everyone in that boat was lucky nothing worse happened.
- It should go without saying that alcohol and boating don’t mix. Ever.
Plans for the holiday don’t have to be ruined because of safety concerns. Just take a few extra moments to check things out and make sure there are no issues. It’s much easier to prevent the problems than to fix them after they happen.
We hope everyone has a safe and happy Fourth of July holiday.