Leave fireworks to professionals
Guest Editorial by the American Red Cross
Independence Day is coming soon, and many people plan to attend fireworks displays, a backyard picnic, or just enjoy the outdoors. The American Red Cross wants you to enjoy a fun-packed, safe holiday and offers these tips you can follow over the upcoming holiday:
The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public firework show put on by professionals. Stay at least 500 feet away from the show. Leave any area immediately where untrained amateurs are using fireworks. If you are setting fireworks off at home, follow these safety steps:
√ Never give fireworks to small children, and never throw or point a firework toward people, animals, vehicles, structures or flammable materials. Always follow the instructions on the packaging.
√ Keep a supply of water close by as a precaution.
√ Make sure the person lighting fireworks always wears eye protection.
√ Light only one firework at a time and never attempt to relight "a dud."
√ Store fireworks in a cool, dry place away from children and pets.
√ Don’t leave food out in the hot sun. Keep perishable foods in a cooler with plenty of ice or freezer gel packs.
√ Wash your hands before preparing the food.
√ If you are going to grill, always supervise when in use. Don’t add charcoal starter fluid when coals have already been ignited. Use the long-handled tools especially made for cooking on the grill to keep the chef safe.
√ Never grill indoors. Keep the grill out in the open, away from the house, the deck, tree branches or anything that could catch fire.
√ Make sure everyone, including pets, stays away from the grill.
√ Hot cars can be deadly. Never leave children or pets in your vehicle. The inside temperature of the car can quickly reach 120 degrees. Check on animals frequently to ensure that they are not suffering from the heat. Make sure they have plenty of cool water and shade.
√ Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids. Avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol.
√ Avoid extreme temperature changes.
√ Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing. Avoid dark colors because they absorb the sun’s rays.
√ Check on family, friends and neighbors who do not have air conditioning, who spend much of their time alone or who are more likely to be affected by the heat. If someone doesn’t have air conditioning, they should seek relief from the heat during the warmest part of the day in places like schools, libraries, theaters, malls, etc.
Apps Can Help
The Red Cross app “Emergency” can help keep you and your loved ones safe with real-time alerts, open Red Cross shelter locations and safety advice. The Red Cross first aid app provides instant access to information on handling the most common emergencies. Download these apps for free by searching for “American Red Cross” in your app store or at redcross.org/apps.
Follow COVID-19 Guidelines
Remember to review the latest COVID-19 pandemic guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) with your family before you head out.
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.