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How to Stay Safe over the Fourth of July

The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public fireworks show put on by professionals.

The long holiday weekend is just ahead and many of you will take to the highway, fire up the grill or enjoy the Fourth of July fireworks. The American Red Cross has steps you can follow to safely enjoy your holiday.

HIGHWAY SAFETY Experts say millions of people will be on the highways over the Fourth of July weekend. The Red Cross reminds everyone to buckle up, observe speed limits and to not drink and drive. Be well rested and alert and give your full attention to the road. Don’t use your cell phone. Five more tips you should remember include:

1. Use caution in work zones.

2. Be respectful of other motorists and follow the rules of the road.

3. Clean your vehicle’s lights and windows to help you see, especially at night. Turn your headlights on as dusk approaches, or during inclement weather.

4. Don’t let your vehicle’s gas tank get too low.

5. If you have car trouble, pull as far as possible off the highway.

FIREWORKS 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. Many states outlaw most fireworks. If you are setting fireworks off at home, here are five safety steps you should follow:

1. Never give fireworks to small children, and always follow the instructions on the packaging.

2. Keep a supply of water close by as a precaution.

3. Make sure the person lighting fireworks always wears eye protection.

4. Light only one firework at a time and never attempt to relight "a dud."

5. Never throw or point a firework toward people, animals, vehicles, structures or flammable materials.

GRILLING SAFETY What better way to celebrate the holiday than to fire up the grill and cook delicious goodies for family and friends. Every year people in this country are injured while using backyard charcoal or gas grills. Follow these five steps to safely cook up treats for the backyard barbecue:

1. Always supervise a barbecue grill when in use.

2. Never grill indoors – not in your house, camper, tent, or any enclosed area.

3. Make sure everyone, including the pets, stays away from the grill.

4. Keep the grill out in the open, away from the house, the deck, tree branches, or anything that could catch fire.

5. Use the long-handled tools especially made for cooking on the grill to keep the chef safe.

FIRST AID APP While you’re enjoying the holiday, accidents can happen. Download the free Red Cross First Aid App to put expert advice for everyday emergencies at your fingertips. The app is available for smart phones and tablets and can be downloaded from the Apple or Google Play for Android app stores.

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.