This Fourth of July, many people across the Eastern New York Region will be traveling, firing up the backyard grill or enjoying fireworks displays. The American Red Cross offers a series of tips that everyone can follow to safely enjoy the holiday weekend.
“People look forward to celebrating the Fourth of July in many ways, and the Red Cross wants to make sure you’re staying safe no matter how you plan to enjoy the day,” said Burgundy Magoon, Preparedness Specialist for the American Red Cross Eastern Region.
HIGHWAY SAFETY – Millions of people will be on the highways over the Fourth of July weekend. The Red Cross offers these five things everyone should do to stay safe while traveling:
• Do not drink and drive.
• Pay full attention to the road – don’t use a cell phone to call or text.
• Buckle seat belts and observe the speed limit.
• Use caution in work zones.
• Clean your vehicle’s lights and windows to help the driver see, especially at night. Turn 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. If you live in a county where sparklers or sparkling devices are legal and you plan to set off such fireworks at home, here are five top safety tips to follow:
• Always follow the instructions on the packaging.
• Never give fireworks to small children.
• Keep a supply of water close by as a precaution.
• Light only one firework at a time and never attempt to relight a “dud."
• Never throw or point fireworks toward people, animals, vehicles, structures or flammable materials.
GRILLING SAFETY – Both charcoal and gas grills have the potential to cause injuries. Here are five things you can do to stay safe while cooking up treats for your backyard barbecue:
• Always supervise a barbecue grill when in use.
• Never grill indoors – not in a house, camper, tent, or any enclosed area.
• Make sure everyone, including pets, keeps away from the grill.
• Keep the grill out in the open, away from anything that could catch fire.
• Use long-handled tools especially made for cooking on the grill to keep the chef safe.
In addition to following the tips above, people can download the free Red Cross Emergency App to receive severe weather alerts in their local area, at travel destinations and where loved ones live. Water safety information and First Aid steps for situations such as heart attacks and heat-related emergencies are also included. 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.