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  • How to Safely Celebrate This Fourth of July

    How to Safely Celebrate This Fourth of July

    With July 4th just around the corner, there is no better time than now to read up on some important safety tips that can help you, your friends and loved ones ring in this year’s holiday. Independence Day is an American staple chock full of fun activities like fireworks, swimming, barbecuing, and travel – but with all the fun also comes just a few hazards you should be wary of. Keep reading to brush up on some important tips below.

    Fireworks Safety

    In 2021, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) received approximately 8,500 reports of people being injured by fireworks and requiring emergency medical attention around the Fourth of July. Although mesmerizing to watch, fireworks can also be extremely dangerous. The American Red Cross urges Americans to avoid unnecessary firework-related hazards by attending a professional show. That said, even at a professional event, remember to stay a minimum of 500 feet away from the fireworks to avoid unintentional contact and injury.

    People who plan on using or being around fireworks in a residential setting should observe the following recommendations:

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

    Cooking Tips

    Whether you are preparing food for guests or eating at someone else’s house, the ARC has some useful food safety tips to brush up on. They are:

    • Wash your hands before preparing, handling, or eating food
    • Avoid leaving food out in the hot sun. Store perishable foods in containers with freezer gel and ice packs to maintain a safe temperature
    • If you are using a grill, provide constant supervision. Do not add any additional charcoal starter fluid after you ignite the coals
    • When you are grilling, use long-handed tools to avoid preventable and painful burns
    • Never grill inside. Keep the grill in an open area away from the home, deck, tree branches, or anything else that can catch fire
    • Make sure everyone, including pets, stays away from the grill

    Travel Recommendations

    According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), a record breaking 60.6 million Americans are expected to be on the road traveling for the Fourth of July – that is nearly 3 million more travelers than last year! The National Safety Council (NSC) has the following travel safety tips that will come in handy for the holiday:

    • Always wear a seat belt and make sure all passengers in the vehicle are, too
    • Drive sober! If necessary, designate a sober driver or use a rideshare service, public transportation, or taxi
    • Do not leave children or pets unattended in a vehicle for any amount of time
    • Slow down and do not drive aggressively
    • Avoid all distractions, like using a cell phone, eating and/or drinking
    • If you do have a child in the vehicle, make sure they are in the back and that you use the proper booster or car seat for their age, height, and weight

    Water Safety

    Whether you are going to be swimming at the beach, at a lake, or in a pool, it is important to be prepared. The Red Cross urges people who will be swimming to first make sure they know basic swimming skills, like how to enter the water, hold their breath, stay afloat, and how to get out of the water safely, too. It is also important to:

    • Provide close and constant supervision to children that are in – or near – the water
    • Fence all pools and spas with adequate barriers, including four-sided fencing and self-latching and self-locking gates
    • Learn and practice basic swimming and water survival skills
    • Wear sunscreen!
    • Children, inexperienced swimmers, and boaters should wear properly-fitted U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets
    • Whenever possible, swim in a lifeguarded area
    • If you are swimming at the beach, swim only in designated areas and obey all orders from lifeguards and/or posted signage
    • Always swim with a buddy! Know your own limitations and make sure you have enough energy for swimming safely
    • Protect your neck – that means no diving headfirst. Always walk carefully into open water
    • Wear protective clothing, including a hat and some type of cover-up for when you have had enough sun. Make sure to not only apply sunscreen before leaving home but to reapply throughout the day and after getting out of the water

    Our entire team at Galfand Berger would like to take a moment to wish you and your family a happy and safe Fourth of July!

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

    If you have questions about filing a claim for injuries you sustained, contact the Philadelphia personal injury attorneys at Galfand Berger 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)