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  • Safety Tips for Celebrating this 4th of July

    4th of JulyAs people around the country prepare to ring in the July 4th holiday, remember: staying safe needs to be a number one priority. There is no shortage of traveling, fireworks, swimming, and cooking during Independence Day, but with each of these fun, family and friend-oriented activities comes a few associated dangers.  Check out some of the following safety tips we compiled to better help you and your loved ones have a happy – and safe – 4th of July!


    According to the American Red Cross, the most foolproof, safe way to enjoy fireworks is to go to a professional show. Even at a show run by professionals, it is important to stay at least 500 feet back to avoid unintentional injury. However, for those who plan on setting off their own fireworks at home, it is crucial to observe the following safety tips:

    • Never give fireworks to small children 
    • Never point fireworks towards people, animals, vehicles, structures, or any type of flammable material
    • Always follow instructions on the packaging before using fireworks
    • Keep a supply of water close-by in case an accident happens
    • The person lighting fireworks should always wear eye protection
    • Never attempt to relight a “dud”
    • Light only one firework at a time
    • Store fireworks in a cool, dry place away from children and pets

    Cooking and Picnic Safety

    Even cooking and food storage come with some risks, especially when it is hot outside. Here are some simple and easy tips from the Red Cross on how to safely handle food this holiday:

    • Wash your hands before preparing or handling any food
    • Do not leave food out in the hot sun. Put perishable foods in a container with ice and freezer gel packs
    • If you are using a grill, always supervise it while it is in use. Do not add any charcoal starter fluid when the coals have already been ignited 
    • When grilling, be sure to use long-handed tools that are designed for cooking and keeping the chef safe
    • Never grill indoors. Keep the grill out in the open, away from the house, deck, tree branches, or anything else that could catch fire
    • Make sure everyone – pets included – stays away from the grill

    Swimming Safety Tips

    If you and your loved ones plan on cooling off by heading to the beach or pool this 4th of July, make sure to plan ahead of time. The Red Cross recommends making sure you know basic swimming skills, like how to enter the water, taking a breath, staying afloat, changing position, and how to exit the water safely. Here are some of the organization’s other useful tips for staying safe while enjoying the water:

    • Provide close and constant attention to children you are supervising near or in the water
    • Learn basic swimming and water survival skills
    • Children, inexperienced swimmers, and boaters should wear properly-fitted U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets
    • If applicable, always swim in a lifeguarded area
    • Fence spas and pools with adequate barriers, including four-sided fencing
    • If swimming at the beach, swim only in a designated area with a lifeguard. Obey all orders and instructions that the lifeguard gives you
    • Always swim with a buddy. Know your own limitations and make sure you have enough energy to swim safely
    • Protect your neck – do not dive headfirst. Always walk carefully into open waters
    • Wear protective clothing, including a hat and some kind of cover-up for when you have had too much sun. Use sunscreen before leaving home and reapply throughout the day and after getting out of the water

    Road Safety

    Plenty of people travel to visit friends and family for the holiday. In fact, the American Automobile Association (AAA) estimates that approximately 47.9 million people will travel this July 4th. Many of the accidents that happen on or around July 4th are preventable, but not without taking precautions and planning ahead. The National Safety Council (NSC) recommends that drivers: 

    • Always wear a seat belt and ensure that passengers do too
    • Designate a sober driver
    • Do not leave children or pets unattended in the vehicle
    • Avoid all distractions, like eating, drinking, or using a cellphone, while operating a motor vehicle
    • If there is a child in the vehicle, make sure he or she is in the back and using a proper booster or car seat
    • Slow down. Remember, speed is a factor in more than ¼ of all traffic fatalities

    Our team at Galfand Berger wishes everyone a happy and safe Independence Day! 

    Philadelphia Personal Injury Lawyers at Galfand Berger, LLP, Representing Injured Victims Since 1947

    If you have a question about filing a legal claim, contact the Philadelphia personal injury lawyers at Galfand Berger LLP today. Call us at 800-222-USWA (8792) or fill out our online form for a free consultation. Located in Philadelphia, Bethlehem, Lancaster, and Reading, we serve clients throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania, including Allentown and Harrisburg.

    1-800-222-USWA (8792)