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 steps everyone can follow to safely enjoy the holiday weekend.
“As we approach the Fourth of July, the Red Cross would like to remind everyone to take simple steps to have a fun and safe holiday weekend,” said Christy Hodde, interim regional CEO, American Red Cross North Jersey 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:
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.
GRILLING SAFETY Every year people are injured while using charcoal or gas grills. Here are several 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 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.
WATER SAFETY Many New Jerseyans may be planning swimming and other water-related activities for the Fourth of July. The Red Cross encourages everyone to make water safety a priority as they enjoy pools or any of the state’s beaches, lakes and rivers.
1. Ensure everyone in your family knows how to swim and only swim in designated areas supervised by lifeguards.
2. Always swim with a buddy; do not allow anyone to swim alone.
3. Have young children or inexperienced swimmers wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets around water, but do not rely on life jackets alone.
4. Provide close and constant attention to children and inexperienced swimmers you are supervising in or near the water. Avoid distractions while supervising.
5. Never leave a young child unattended near water, and do not trust a child’s life to another child. Teach children to always ask permission to go near water. If a child is missing, check the water first.
DOWNLOAD FIRST AID APP The Red Cross has a 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 your smartphone app store by searching for “American Red Cross.”
Have a fun and safe Fourth of July!