10 Dos And Don’ts When Celebrating This Fourth Of July

The Fourth of July is a day when many people in Indiana celebrate our nation’s independence with picnics, swimming pools, cookouts, fireworks and other fun activities. While this day is generally enjoyed with family, friends and loved ones, it also poses many potential dangers. Unless certain precautions are taken to keep you and your family safe this Fourth of July, your day of celebration could quickly become one of pain, heartbreak and loss.

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), more fires are reported in the United States on July 4 than on any other day. Fireworks are the cause of 2 out of 5 of these fires. In addition, the NFPA reports that July is the month when the number of grill fires reaches its peak.
Fireworks and grills aren’t the only dangers. Swimming pools and other bodies of water can also pose a serious risk to you and your loved ones. Traffic is notoriously heavy on and around the Fourth of July. Add in the consumption of a few alcoholic beverages and you’ve got a potentially deadly combination.
To minimize the chances of you and your family sustaining serious personal injury, we recommend the following when celebrating this Fourth of July:

Do Allow Yourself Extra Time to Get to Your Holiday Destination

With so many people trying to reach their favorite lakes, parks and picnic spots, traffic will be heavy, so it is important to plan ahead. Allow yourself extra time to get to your holiday destination. Doing so will help prevent you from becoming agitated or stressed, which is often when people begin to exhibit signs of road rage or aggressive driving habits.

By leaving a little earlier than usual, you will also be less likely to speed or violate other traffic laws.

Don’t Drink and Drive

Drinking and driving do not mix. If you plan to consume alcohol over the Fourth of July weekend, designate a sober driver before you leave. Even if you are unable to find a designated driver, you still have other safe options such as using public transportation, hiring a car service, taking a cab or staying with friends.

It is not worth your life, nor anyone else’s, for you to get behind the wheel after you have been drinking.

Do Keep an Eye Out for Motorcyclists, Bicyclists, Old Car Enthusiasts, Recreational Road Users and Pedestrians

While on the way to your holiday destination or on your way home, it is essential to keep an eye out for motorcyclists, bicyclists, old car enthusiasts, recreational road users and pedestrians who will be out in large numbers.

Countless people will be out and about over the holiday weekend. Putting your cell phone down, avoiding driver distractions and staying alert could help you avoid causing or being involved in a serious accident.

Do Make Sure Children Have Adequate Adult Supervision When Swimming

Swimming is a fun and kid-friendly activity, particularly on a holiday weekend. If you are planning to take your kids swimming, make sure they have adequate adult supervision at all times. You cannot assume someone is watching them, nor should you leave their safety up to a lifeguard.

Designate an adult to watch the kids whenever they are in or near the water.

Don’t Leave Your Grill Unattended

As soon as you fire up the grill, you must make sure it is being tended at all times. The few seconds it may take you to run instead to get some more burgers may be all it takes for little hands or bodies to sustain severe burns.

Set up a perimeter around your grill too. This will help keep kids and pets at a safe distance and minimize the risk of starting a fire.

Do Keep Your Food Properly Refrigerated and Free of Contamination

Keeping your food properly refrigerated can be tricky, particularly when you are taking it to a picnic, a friend’s backyard barbecue or the lake. The hotter the temperatures get, the higher the chances are of the food spoiling.

Food must also be kept free of contamination from outside sources. Food poisoning risks can be minimized by proper refrigeration, maintaining separate preparation areas and keeping eating surfaces clean.

Do Follow State Fireworks Laws

Indiana has strict fireworks laws intended to protect residents, minimize the risk of injury and prevent serious damage. If you plan to buy fireworks, make sure you educate yourself on local fireworks laws.

Failure to adhere to these laws could put you and others in danger. You may also find yourself facing costly fines or criminal charges.

Don’t Allow Children to Play with Fireworks

Children should never be allowed to handle, light or play with fireworks. Of the thousands of people injured by fireworks each year, the NFPA reports many of those injured are children and teenagers.

Even sparklers can be dangerous to kids due to the hot sparks potentially reaching temperatures in excess of 1200 degrees.

Do Stay in Well-Lit Areas and Enjoy Activities in Groups

No matter where you are planning to go this Fourth of July weekend, you should expect most holiday destinations to be crowded. When you go out with family and friends, stick together. Do not go off on your own. The fact that safety lies in numbers is particularly true on holidays like this.

Try to remain in well-lit areas as well. The risk of injury or harm can be significantly reduced by adhering to these two safety rules.

Don’t Celebrate by Firing Guns into the Air

It can be very exciting to get into the holiday spirit, but you need to do so with care. Celebrations on the Fourth of July should never involve guns being shot into the air. When a gun is not aimed at a target, the likelihood of the bullet hitting a person on its way back down is extremely high.