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  3. July 4th Safety Tips

July 4th Safety Tips

As we get ready to celebrate Independence Day, many of us plan to attend fireworks displays, a backyard picnic, or perhaps enjoy fun at the beach. CBP offers these safety tips so you can enjoy a fun-packed, safe 4th of July holiday. 

Fireworks Safety 

The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public firework show put on by professionals. Stay at least 500 feet away from the show. Many states outlaw most fireworks. Leave any area immediately where untrained amateurs are using fireworks. If you are setting fireworks off at home, follow these safety steps: 

  • Never give fireworks to small children, and never throw or point a firework toward people, animals, vehicles, structures, or flammable materials. Always follow the instructions on the packaging. 
  • Keep a supply of water or fire extinguisher close by as a precaution. 
  • Make sure the person lighting fireworks always wears eye protection. 
  • Never place a part of your body directly over a firework or hold a firework in your hand when lighting.
  • Place the fireworks on the ground away from people and animals and use a stem lighter such as a grill lighter.
  • Avoid alcohol consumption when handling or using fireworks.
  • Light only one firework at a time and never attempt to relight "a dud." 
  • Soak both spent and unused fireworks in water for a few hours before discarding.
  • Store fireworks in a cool, dry place away from children and pets. 

Picnic Safety 

  • Wash your hands before preparing the food. 
  • Do not leave food out in the hot sun. Keep perishable foods in a cooler with plenty of ice or freezer gel packs. 
  • If you are going to cook on the grill, never grill indoors. Keep the grill out in the open, away from the house, the deck, tree branches or anything that could catch fire. 
  • Always supervise the grill when in use. Do not add charcoal starter fluid when coals have already been ignited.  
  • Use the long-handled tools especially made for cooking on the grill to keep the chef safe. 
  • Make sure everyone, including pets, stays away from the grill. 
  • Once your used charcoal and ash is completely cold, wrap it in aluminum foil before tossing it into a non-combustible outdoor trash receptacle.
    • Monitor your alcohol intake.  Alcohol can slow your reaction times down and possibly create hazards for you and your loved ones.  Always designate a driver to get you home safe if you have been drinking.

Beach Safety 

  • Watch the weather and get out of the water at the first sign of lightning or the rumble of thunder.
  • Stay indoors and away from water for 30 minutes after the last lightning flashes or thunder roars. 
  • Swim only at a beach with a lifeguard, within the designated swimming area. Obey all instructions and orders from lifeguards and ask them about local conditions. 
  • Always designate someone whose sole responsibility is to keep a close eye and constant attention on everyone in and around the water especially small children. 
  • Children, inexperienced swimmers, and all boaters should wear properly fitted U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets. 
  • Protect your neck – do not dive in headfirst. Walk carefully into open waters. Watch out for and avoid aquatic life. 
    • If you are caught in a rip current, stay calm and do not fight it. Swim parallel to the shore until you are out of the current. Then, turn and swim to shore. If you cannot swim to shore, float, or tread water until you are free of the rip current and then head toward shore. Draw attention to yourself by waving and calling for help.

For additional Safety Tips, check out these Steps for a Safe 4th of July from the Red Cross.

Last Modified: Jun 27, 2024
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