Celebrating the 4th Safely

The Fourth of July is usually a fun time filled with parades, grilling, camping, fireworks and boating. A trip to the emergency room cuts that fun short.

Following a few safety tips can make this holiday a pleasant recollection, not a painful memory.

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Build your campfire away from overhead branches, dry leaves and dry grass. Be sure your match is out before you throw it away and never leave your campfire unattended. Drown the fire with water and move all rocks away as embers can lurk beneath them.

Grilling and PICNICKING

Marinate your meat in the refrigerator, not on the counter. Keep your cold foods refrigerated or in a cooler until ready to eat. If you are grilling, use a clean plate for your cooked food. The cooked food should never be placed on a platter that held the raw meat. Discard any food left out for more than two hours and in hot weather one hour would be a safer bet.


The National Council on Fireworks Safety warns never to relight a “dud” firework. Wait 20 minutes and soak the “dud” in a bucket of water. Remember that sparklers burn hot. The recommendation is that only the persons over the age of twelve should handle them. Always have water handy and do not alter or combine fireworks. Follow the laws set up in your area and do not buy illegal fireworks.

Boating and water sports

Always avoid using alcohol when boating or swimming. When boating, wear a life jacket and be sure everyone in the boat, including children, are wearing life jackets. Use sunscreen. Do not swim alone and only dive in safe areas. If the weather turns stormy, leave the water.

We hope these tips help you to have a safe Independence Day celebration full of fun.