Although 4th of July celebrations may look a bit different this year, it is still important to keep safety tips in mind.
As communities begin to reopen, many are experiencing their first break from cabin fever in months. Unfortunately, the virus is still a serious concern, so the CDC shared some tips on how to stay safe in public settings:
- Continue to stay 6’ away from others, especially if you are at a high risk for contracting diseases.
- Continue wearing face coverings, especially indoors with poor ventilation or anywhere, even outdoors, where social distancing is difficult.
- Wash your hands frequently and use hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.
- Avoid crowds and mass gatherings. Stay home if you or a member of your household is sick.
Backyard barbecues are quintessential of Independence Day celebrations, but they are also the source of far too many accidents. On average, grilling fires spark more than 10,000 home fires every year. To avoid this:
- Never grill indoors. Do not grill in the house, in a tent, in a camper, in any enclosed area, or near anything that could catch on fire.
- Check the gas grill hoses for cracks, holes, and leaks.
- Never leave the grill unattended. Make sure that everyone, especially children and pets, stay away from the grill.
- Only use long-handled tools specifically designed for grilling.
- Do not add charcoal starter fluid when the coals have already been ignited.
With many public fireworks displays cancelled, many plan to light their own. Familiarize yourself with local laws and be mindful of your surroundings:
- Keep a bucket of water nearby in case of emergencies.
- Never point or throw a firework toward people, animals, vehicles, buildings, or flammable material.
- Only light one firework at a time, and do not attempt to relight them even when they malfunction.
- Never try to disassemble or try to make your own fireworks.
- Do not allow young children to handle fireworks.
- Make sure that your pets are in a safe, quiet, and familiar place. More pets go missing on the 4th of July Weekend than any other time of the year, so make the appropriate accommodations to keep them comfortable, like having soothing music playing and placing their favorite toys in a room.
With warm weather ahead of us, festivities probably include being out in the water. Remember that fun water activities, whether at private pools or open water, still pose a danger if you are not careful:
- Talk to your children about water safety, and make sure you are aware of the swimming abilities of everyone in your group. Set water safety rules.
- Do not leave a child unattended in the water, even if lifeguards are around, and even if they have flotation devices like paddle jumpers or swim vests.
- Follow safe boating practices, and never consume alcohol while driving a boat. Before boating, make sure that there are enough life preservers for every passenger.
- Keep a first aid kit nearby.
4th of July is one of the most celebrated holidays in the United States, and this year, it comes at a time when more activities are available for people to enjoy after being on lockdown for months. Be aware of your surroundings, and celebrate responsibly!
Versed in civil litigation and appellate advocacy, Ann concentrates in automobile collisions, slip and fall cases, dog bites and general negligence. She took one case for the Whitley Law Firm all the way to the North Carolina Supreme Court, forcing an insurance company to settle a large claim for a driver injured by a utility-truck trailer.