It’s time for Fourth of July celebrations – fireworks, backyard barbecues, and trips to the lake. Whatever people have planned, the American Red Cross of Northwest Ohio wants to ensure the community has fun while staying safe.
“Whether your weekend will involve grilling, watching a fireworks display, or hanging out by the pool with family and friends, we have safety tips everyone can follow.” said Gary Loboschefski, emergency services manager for the American Red Cross of Northwest Ohio. “Independence Day is usually a busy one for us with fires caused by fireworks usage. We’re hoping for nice weather and no incidents, but it’s important to know what to do in the event of an emergency.”
FIREWORKS AND FIRE SAFETY The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public fireworks show put on by professionals. Stay at least 500 feet away from the show.
Ohio law permits the usage of sparklers and other types of novelty fireworks. Sparklers account for one-third of injuries to children under five, according to the National Fire Protection Association. If someone is setting fireworks off at home, they should follow these safety steps:
On Independence Day in a typical year, far more U.S. fires are reported than on any other day, and fireworks account for two out of five of those fires, more than any other cause.
GRILLING SAFETY Every year people are injured while using backyard charcoal or gas grills. Follow these steps to safely enjoy grilling this 4th:
WATER SAFETY People should only swim at a lifeguarded beach within the designated swimming area. Other safety tips include:
Additional water safety tips are available at redcross.org/watersafetytips.
SUN PROTECTION Limit exposure to direct sunlight between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., and wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a protection factor of at least 15. Other safety tips include:
During hot weather, watch for signs of heat stroke—hot, red skin; changes in consciousness; rapid, weak pulse; rapid, shallow breathing.
If it’s suspected someone is suffering from heat stroke:
DOWNLOAD FIRST AID APP Download the free Red Cross First Aid App to put expert advice for everyday emergencies at people’s fingertips. The app is available for direct download from the Apple or Google Play for Android app stores.