This Fourth of July, many people will be traveling, firing up the backyard grill or enjoying fireworks, and the American Red Cross offers a series of tips everyone can follow to safely enjoy the holiday weekend.
“Everyone looks forward to having fun over the Fourth of July, and the Red Cross wants to make sure people know how to stay safe while enjoying the holiday,” said Janet Whitcomb, interim regional chief executive officer, American Red Cross Serving Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties.
HIGHWAY SAFETY Millions of people will be on the highways over the Fourth of July weekend. The Red Cross offers these five tips everyone should follow to stay safe while traveling:
1. Buckle seat belts, observe speed limits.
2. Do not drink and drive.
3. Pay full attention to the road – don’t use a cell phone to call or text.
4. Use caution in work zones.
5. Clean the vehicle’s lights and windows to help the driver see, especially at night. Turn the headlights on as dusk approaches, or during inclement weather.
FIREWORKS SAFETY The best way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public fireworks show put on by professionals. However, if you choose to set off your own fireworks, here are five tips for safely setting fireworks off at home:
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 Every year people are injured while using charcoal or gas grills. Here are five tips for safely cooking up treats on the barbecue or grill:
1. Always supervise a barbecue grill when in use.
2. Never grill indoors – not in the 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.
EMERGENCY APP People can download the free Red Cross Emergency App to receive severe weather watches and warnings in their local area, at travel destinations and where loved ones live. “Family Safe” is a unique feature that allows app users to notify family and friends who are in an area affected by an emergency or disaster. First Aid steps for situations such as heart attacks, heat-related emergencies and water safety information are also included. The content is available in English and Spanish. The app can be downloaded from app stores by searching for “American Red Cross” or by going to redcross.org/apps.
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 redcross.org/oc or visit us on Twitter at @OCRedCross.