Fourth of July will be a long weekend of picnics with friends and family, parades, fireworks and trips to the beach. The holiday is always a lot of fun, but it can also be very dangerous due to mishandling and misuse of fireworks, improper grilling techniques and unsafe beach practices. There are many Fourth of July celebrations in the Los Angeles area from parades, festivals and fireworks displays. Magellan Storage wants to keep your family safe this holiday weekend by sharing a few fireworks, grilling and beach safety tips to keep your family and home safe!
Beach Safety Tips
Many families will be heading to the many great beaches on the Pacific Ocean during the long holiday weekend. There are a few simple tips to remember when you spend large amounts of time at the beach that even the avid beach goer should remember.
- Only swim in a lifeguarded beach within a designated swimming area. These areas are roped off for safety reasons.
- Keep alert for local weather conditions. Storms can move in off shore very quickly.
- Always swim with a buddy.
- Young children should always wear a coast guard approved life jacket.
- Limit exposure to direct sunlight between 10am and 4pm. If you are outside during these times, always wear sunscreen starting at SPF 15, if you are fairer skinned, then go with higher SPFs.
- Drink plenty of water. Avoid caffeine and alcohol when outside in hot weather.
Fireworks Safety Tips
The Consumer Product Safety Commission conducted a study during the weeks surrounding July 4th to measure the extent of injuries caused by fireworks. The study found that 230 people on average go to the emergency room during that time with fireworks related injuries with over 50% of these injuries listed as burns. 74% of those injured were men and 23% were women! The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) put out a report stating that more fires were reported on Independence Day than any other day of the year! Fireworks accidents account for 2 out of 5 of these reported fires. In 2011, fireworks caused an estimated 17,800 reported fires causing over $32 million in damage. It is recommended to attend public fireworks shows put on by professionals. If you do plan on setting off fireworks, there are important fireworks safety tips that need to be followed.
- Obey all local laws pertaining to fireworks and displaying fireworks.
- Keep children and pets at least 500 feet away from where fireworks are being shot off.
- Keep pets indoors if you are setting off fireworks. They could become agitated with the sights, sounds, and smells of fireworks.
- Only use fireworks outside. Point fireworks away from homes. Keep fireworks away from trees and brush as these materials are extremely flammable.
- Have a hose, a bucket of water and a fire extinguisher on hand for emergency situations. Soak all of the fireworks after use in a bucket of water before throwing them in a metal thrash can.
- Light one firework at a time. Never relight a dud firework. Make sure to properly dispose of the dud firework in water before depositing in a metal container.
- If you are using sparklers, it is important to hold on tight to the sparklers when in use. Do not use sparklers while sitting down and never throw them when they are lit.
Grilling Safety Tips
According to another report by the National Fire Protection Association between 2007 and 2011, there was an average of 8,800 home and outside fires. It is very important to be prepared and safe when using both propane and charcoal grills.
- Propane and charcoal barbeque grills should only be used outdoors. The grill should be placed away from the home, deck railings and overhanging branches. Clear away flammable debris that is near the area where the grill is placed. Make sure that the grill is placed in a well-ventilated area and is firmly in place and cannot be tipped over.
- Never leave a grill unattended when it is in use.
- Keep children and pets at least 3 feet away from the grill at all times.
- If you have to start a charcoal grill, only use charcoal starter fluid to enhance or start the fire. Do not add any other flammable fluids to the fire. When you are finished using the charcoal grill, let the coals completely cool before deposing them in a metal container.
- For propane tank grills use, check the tank and hoses for leaks before using the grill for the first time of the season. If you smell gas while cooking on the grill, immediately get away from the grill and call the fire department. Do not move the grill!
- Use long-handled utensils when cooking on a grill to avoid burns and splatters.
- Do not wear loose fitting clothing near the open flame of a grill. Use flame –retardant mitts when adjusting hot vents and grills.
Magellan Storage wishes everyone a safe and happy Fourth of July!