Something exciting is right around the corner – The 4th of July. Getting together, enjoying family, being patriotic and watching fireworks is the usual agenda for most on this American holiday. But no matter how big or small of a “blast” you have, it’s important to be careful!
Here are some tips for having a safe 4th of July:
1. Northeast Ohio Fire Warnings
The hot and dry weather conditions that have been occurring all around North East Ohio has caused Police to send out fire warnings to all citizens living and spending time in the area this holiday week. Police want everyone to pay very close attention and be safe because backyard fireworks, cookouts, and carelessly tossed cigarettes could cause a huge blaze.
For very specific directions from local Police, please read this article from WKYC. It is extremely important that we all follow these rules closely to have a safe, fun, and fire free 4th of July.
Mayfield specifically is especially cracking down in regards to keeping their communitiy safe from potentional fires. To read their directions, click HERE.
Fireworks are fun, but can be very dangerous. It is always more safe to go to a local park and watch the professional display put on by your hometown. However, if you’re going to be making your own display – it is important to follow some safety procedures.
It is firstly highly recommended that the person setting off the fireworks wears safety glasses. Mild fireworks can cause burns and eye injuries, so it’s important to keep those covered. You should also be aware of what type of fabric you’re wearing. Cotton is safest and polyester should be avoided because it can melt to the skin.
More firework safety tips:
Select a large, paved surface when possible
Keep fireworks away from wooded and grassy areas
Soak the launch site before and all spent products after
Keep a ready source of water available
Designate an adult to watch the trajectory, make sure no fires are started and douse any that are
Don’t let children or minors handle fireworks
To review Ohio’s firework law, click HERE.
3. Driving Safely
During most holidays, the amount of people on the road is an all-time high. Cars full of people are coming from all over to spend time with family and friends or go see the local fireworks display. Unfortunately, holidays are also bring on a lot of drinking and driving. With these factors, pay close attention to the road, always have a designated driver, plan ahead, and allow yourself extra time to reach your destination.
4. Being Safe Around Water
Swimming and Fireworks kind of go hand in hand on the 4th of July. Before the fireworks begin at dusk, you can kind most families and friends lounging around in their pool with drink in hand. Unfortunately, water is linked to multiple deaths, especially with small children, every year. Never swim alone, and make sure all children are supervised. According to MedicineNet.com, many drownings occur when parents and other adults are nearby, so always have a designated chaperone for water play and don’t assume that others are watching the kids. Statistics show that most young children who drown in pools have been out of sight for less than five minutes.
5. Use Sunscreen & Drink Fluids
With the high heat of July, and Cleveland calling for a 90 degree day on Wednesday, it is important for everyone to stay hydrated and apply sunscreen when outdoors. The intense sun can cause skin burns for the next day, and skin aging or possibly cancer in the long run. The National Academy of Dermatology requests everyone to use a minimum of SPF 15 when outdoors in the summer months. One should also drink lots of water to stay hydrated and prevent heat illness.
6. Be Careful With Food Outside
When having picnics or BBQ’s and spreads outside in the sun and summer months, it is very important to keep food covered and not out in the heat for very long. Allowing food to sit out in the heat is inviting food borne illness. The U.S. FDA suggests never leaving food out for more than one hour when the temperature is above 90 F and not more than two hours at other times. Foods that need to be kept cold should be placed in a cooler with plenty of ice or freezing packs and held at a maximum temperature of 40 F.
-Kate Murphy / 98.5 WNCX