Independence Day. No, not the popular film series. But the day we celebrate the founding of our great nation. We love a good barbeque, being surrounded by family and friends, and many of the fun community events, outdoor activities and firework shows. Now believe it or not, the 4th of July holiday weekend is the most dangerous holiday of the year. From accidents to burns to drownings to fires, there are a few safety tips you should consider to help you have a safe and enjoyable holiday.
The National Safety Council (NSC) estimates that 462 people may die this 4th of July weekend as a result of auto accidents. The NSC states, “Many choose car travel, which has the highest fatality rate of any major form of transportation based on fatalities per passenger mile. Holidays are also often a cause for celebrations involving alcohol consumption, a major contributing factor to motor-vehicle crashes.” Follow all safety and road signs. Avoid driving when tired. And never get behind the driving wheel if you’ve had alcohol, it puts you and everyone on the road at increased risk of an accident.
Most of us enjoy a good firework show. It doesn’t matter if it’s a backyard display or a coordinated musical spectacular, fireworks are exciting. St. George, like the rest of Utah has specific guidelines and restrictions regarding the proper purchase and use of fireworks. Most firework occurrences won’t have any incident, but it’s the few who do that are often the result of illegal or improper firework handling. Simple safety measures include:
- Reading and following all safety and usage instructions.
- Discharging in an open in an open area and on a non-combustible surface, such as a driveway or paved area.
- Do not light fireworks in windy weather conditions.
- Keeping a source of water available (bucket or hose).
- Never try to reignite a dud firework.
- Keep clear and do not lean over when lighting fireworks.
- Fireworks should always be used with adult supervision and care. And should be kept out of reach of children.
Reckless behavior around fireworks, campfires and grills are responsible for serious burn and injury. Minimize your risk of burns by:
- Never leaving a burning grill or campfire unattended.
- Keeping outdoor grills properly ventilated and they shouldn’t be used within 10ft of a home or combustible structure.
- Keeping a (sober) responsible adult in charge of the fire.
- Don’t add any lighter fluid to coals that are already aflame.
- Have a fire extinguisher easily accessible.
We love a good pool party. But not everyone may know how to swim or have the proper setup to ensure everyone is safe around the pool. Pools can cause slip and falls, people can ignore signage and dive into shallow water, or heaven forbid a child fall into the pool who is unable to swim. If you’re on vacation with a pool or hosting the party, these tips can help:
- No running or diving.
- Adult supervision, who is able to stay alert and jump into action if necessary.
- Having at least one CPR trained individual present.
Most people enjoy their favorite beer or cocktail during the holidays. When alcohol is consumed, inhibitions and reaction times are lowered. Now add alcohol to the mix of fireworks, barbeques and pools, the increased risks of accidents goes up significantly. As mentioned previously, people may think they’re okay to drive and get behind the wheel of the car and could cause or be involved in an accident. Don’t risk it!
If your holiday does get cut short due to injury McMullin Injury Law is here to help. Please share these safety tips with your loved ones. We wish you happy and safe 4th of July.