The Fourth of July is a time for people to celebrate and spend time with friends and family. However, each year some celebrations turn into a nightmare because of the safety hazards that lurk behind every corner. Over the years, countless people have been harmed from preventable accidents. To help keep people safe this holiday weekend we have come up with a list of 4 hazards to look out for this Fourth of July.
While pools are the centerpiece for many parties this Fourth of July, it is also potentially dangerous. The CDC reports that around ten people die each day due to accidental drowning and even more people are taken to Emergency Rooms for water related injuries. Many of those affected are children or adolescents.
To prevent injury and death because of swimming pools this Fourth of July here are a few safety recommendations:
- Make sure an adult supervises kids at all times when using the pool.
- Don’t swim alone
- Make sure those who do not swim well have the proper floatation gear.
- Do not dive into shallow water.
- If you or someone else is tired, take a break.
- If you have had too much to drink, don’t swim.
Many accidents each July 4th are due in part to alcohol consumption. A major part of preventing injury and accidents from occurring is the responsible use of alcohol. Some useful tips for alcohol and the holiday are:
- Never light fireworks if you have had too much to drink.
- Make sure that there are sober adults at picnics and get-togethers to supervise minors and to respond to any issues that may arise.
- Never swim when you have had too much to drink.
- Never provide minors with alcohol.
- ALWAYS have a designated driver or boater.
It would be hard to imagine the Fourth of July without fireworks. However, this tradition is not without its hazards. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports that on Independence Day, there are typically thousands of people injured because of fireworks. The NFPA encourages people to refrain from using fireworks because of the risk.
If, however, you decide to use fireworks this Independence day make sure to follow the proper precautions to avoid injury. Some helpful tips that will help you and your family and friends stay safe this year are:
- Store fireworks in a safe location away from children and anything that could potentially spark these fireworks by accident
- Make sure the fireworks are fully extinguished and no longer hot before picking them up and throwing them away
- When lighting fireworks, make sure that you are a safe distance away from people, houses, cars, trees, bushes, or other things that could catch fire easily, and have a hose or extinguisher nearby
- Remember to follow all the laws and regulations regarding firework usage
For those who are headed out on a boat this holiday weekend, it is important to remember there are many dangerous situations that can be prevented with the proper planning and preparation. The US Coast Guard reports that each year many people are killed or injured from preventable boating accidents.
Here are some things to do before getting out on the water this Independence day:
- Make sure that all passengers will have a life vest and that they wear them while boating.
- Make sure all the safety features, especially the lights, on your boat are functioning properly.
- Make sure your Safety/Emergency Kit and First Aid Kit are fully stocked.
- Designate an adult who knows how to operate the boat and will stay sober. This will help ensure that all passengers will make it back to shore safely.
- Review this information on Carbon Monoxide (CO) from the US Coast Guard to prevent injury or death from this deadly substance: http://www.uscgboating.org/recreational-boaters/carbon-monoxide.php
- Look at the weather forecast before leaving and continue to check the most recent models while you are boating. Don’t go out on the water if it isn’t safe to do so and head back to shore if the weather starts to become hazardous.
Remember to take the proper precautions this weekend to keep you and your loved ones safe during your holiday celebrations.
From all of us at Colombo Law, we wish you and your family a safe and happy Independence Day.