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Recommendations for a Safe Fourth of July Weekend

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"We want to make sure that people in our community stay safe as they enjoy a great holiday weekend"

People across our region are looking forward to the upcoming holiday weekend. As people prepare to fire up the grill, visit local lakes and pools, or enjoy fireworks during their Fourth of July celebrations, the American Red Cross has steps everyone can follow to stay safe.

“No matter how you plan to celebrate Independence Day, we hope you’ll take a moment to review these tips,” said Anne Parsons, Disaster Preparedness Specialist for the American Red Cross Eastern New York Region. “We want to make sure that people in our community stay safe as they enjoy a great holiday weekend.”

FIREWORKS SAFETY – The safest way to enjoy holiday fireworks is to attend a public fireworks show put on by professionals. Many cities and counties in New York State outlaw most fireworks. If you live in a community where sparklers or sparkling devices are legal and you plan to use such fireworks, be sure to follow these safety steps:

Store fireworks in a cool, dry place away from children and pets.
Never give fireworks to small children.
Always follow the instructions on the packaging. 
Keep a supply of water close by as a precaution. 
Make sure the person lighting fireworks always wears eye protection. 
Light only one firework at a time and never attempt to relight a “dud." 
Never throw or point a firework toward people, animals, vehicles, structures or flammable materials.

GRILLING SAFETY – Both charcoal and gas grills have the potential to cause injuries. Stay safe when grilling by following these steps:

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 a safe distance 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.

SWIMMING SAFETY – If holiday plans include visiting a local lake or swimming pool, be sure to swim safely:

Only swim where a lifeguard is present, within the designated swimming area.
Obey all instructions and orders from lifeguards.
Keep alert and check local weather conditions while you are enjoying the water.
Swim sober and always swim with a buddy.
Have young children and inexperienced swimmers wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket.
Protect your neck – don’t dive headfirst.
Keep a close eye and constant attention on children and adults in the water.

DOWNLOAD SWIM & FIRST AID APPS The Red Cross Swim App promotes water safety education and helps parents and caregivers of young people learning how to swim. The app has features specifically designed for children, including a variety of kid-friendly games, videos and quizzes. It also contains water safety information for parents on a variety of aquatic environments including beaches and water parks. The First Aid App provides instant access to expert guidance on how to handle a variety of situations from insect bites and stings to choking and Hands-Only CPR. People can download the apps for free by searching for ‘American Red Cross’ in their app store or at