No holiday says “summer” more clearly – or more patriotically – than Independence Day.
While you’re celebrating all things red, white and blue with family and friends, it’s important to keep safety in mind. From watching a fireworks display, driving to parties, swimming in the pool, to barbecuing in the backyard, July 4th comes with some unique safety concerns. Keep these tips in mind this Independence Day:
- Love to barbeque? According to Statistic Brain, Americans will buy 150 million hotdogs, 700 million pounds of chicken and 190 million pounds of red meat and pork for the holiday. Food safety is paramount — make sure meats are cooked thoroughly to prevent food-borne illnesses and follow safe food-handling practices. The Institute of Food Technologists offers some great advice on how to shop, prepare and cook your meal.
- 87% of American households have outdoor grills. Practice safe grilling by keeping them away from occupied areas of the yard, and never leave a lit grill unattended. The National Fire Protection Association offers some tips for safer grilling.
- Lighting up a firework show? First, check with your city by-laws to make sure personal firework displays are permitted in your area. Then visit the Consumer Product Safety Commission on ways to avoid injury from fireworks.
- Staying cool in the pool. What better way to beat the summer heat than a swim in the pool? Remember to always keep a close eye on children in or near the pool. Be sure that your children know basic water safety and that an able adult is around at all times in case of emergency.
- Millions of Americans will travel to holiday destinations by car this week, and July 4th is usually one of the most accident-filled days across the country. For your safety, minimize distractions while driving. Never text while driving or drink–and-drive. Plan your route ahead of time and make sure someone knows where you will be and when you expect to arrive at your destination.
- All that warm weather fun is going to add up to a lot of energy consumption across the country. You can ease demands on the power grid – not to mention reduce your electricity bill – by turning off and unplugging unused appliances at home. Set your home’s thermostat to 78˚F and use fans during the day to stay cool. Keep the door closed and cool air in as you minimize trips in and out of the house during the day.
Finally, be sure to protect your entire family from the sun this Independence Day weekend. Outfit everyone with sunglasses, light colored clothes and wear sunscreen whenever you’re outside. Seek shade, stay hydrated – and have fun!