(MADISON) – The 4th of July is a great time to celebrate our nation’s birthday. Before the festivities begin, it’s important to remember safety tips to keep your family safe.
“Many Americans enjoy fireworks and cookouts to celebrate the 4th of July,” says Major General Don Dunbar, Adjutant General and Wisconsin’s Homeland Security Advisor. “However, make sure you’re thinking about safety first when you’re enjoying the holiday.”
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, last year more than 11,000 people across the nation were treated for fireworks-related injuries at emergency rooms. Officials say 39 percent of those injured were younger than 20 years of age. Fire and safety officials recommend the following safety tips when lighting fireworks:
- Never allow children to play with or ignite fireworks. Adults igniting the fireworks should always wear eye protection and never have any part of the body over the firework.
- Only buy legal fireworks from reliable sellers.
- Be sure other people are out of range before lighting fireworks.
- Always have water ready in case of a fire (a garden hose or a bucket).
- Light fireworks on a smooth, flat surface away from buildings, dry leaves and flammable materials.
- Light fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly.
- Never throw or point fireworks at other people or animals.
- Keep your pets indoors to reduce the risk that they will run loose and get injured. Many animals have very sensitive ears and can be stressed or frightened by fireworks.
Are you planning to fire up the grill? Remember these tips:
- Make sure your grill is away from home and deck railings.
- Open your gas grill before lighting
- Make a three-foot “kid and pet-free zone” around the grill.
- Avoid wearing loose clothing that can catch fire when cooking.
Also remember to play it safe over the holiday:
- Never leave people or pets inside a parked car. Even with the windows cracked open, temperatures inside a vehicle can reach over 100 degrees in minutes.
- Have an emergency kit in your vehicle. It should include a first-aid kit, bottled water and some energy bars. A car adaptor for your cell phone is also a good idea in case you need to call for help.
- Know before you go! Learn about the latest traffic and road conditions by contacting 511 Wisconsin. This information, along with live traffic cameras and traffic alerts, can be accessed on the 511 Wisconsin system, which includes a free mobile app, @511WI on Twitter, or at www.511wi.gov.
- When attending various parades, fireworks displays and other gatherings, if you see something suspicious, remember to contact law enforcement. If you “See Something, Say Something”.