Here at the Red Cross, we’re all looking forward to a fun-filled 4th of July weekend. As we get ready to fire up the grill, hit some local swimming spots, and enjoy a few fireworks, we also want to make sure that everyone in our region stays safe this Independence Day.

Before your holiday celebrations begin, take a few minutes to go over these tips…

FIREWORKS SAFETY

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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, but if you live in a community where sparklers or sparkling devices are legal and you plan to use them, 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

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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

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If your 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 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 redcross.org/apps.

Wishing you and yours a safe and happy 4th of July weekend!

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