The Fourth of July is a day of celebration! Each family has their own way of celebrating the holiday, whether it be through parties, cookouts, firework shows, boating, and so many other ways. It can also be a dangerous holiday if safety is disregarded. Here are 4 universal safety tips to keep your celebration safe, no matter the setting.
1. Stay Hydrated
The Fourth of July is also usually one of the hottest weekends in the year, meaning often times one of the sweatiest weekends. Dehydration occurs when your body doesn’t have as much water as it needs to function. Sometimes you might not realize that you’re dehydrated. You might feel a headache, but not feel like you’re actually thirsty. Some warning signs of dehydration includes a headache, nausea, dry or sticky mouth, and muscle cramps. Make sure you drink some water with whatever else you are eating or drinking this holiday weekend so you stay hydrated.
2. Protect Your Cup
While you are carrying around some water and a beverage of choice, make sure you use either cups with lids or a twisting cap. When you use open cups like a Styrofoam cup or a solo cup, you leave yourself vulnerable to somebody tampering with your drink.
How can you tell if someone tampered with your drink? The color of the liquid might have a slight change or be strangely cloudy. One other way to tell if your drink has been spiked (especially in non-carbonated drinks) is there will be an excessive amount of bubbling. Of course, the safest way to ensure that your drink isn’t spiked is to only drink from cans or bottles that you opened yourself, and never leave your drink unattended. If you have to ask if your drink has been spiked, it isn’t worth the risk. Toss it out!
3. Fireworks Under Supervision
Did you know that more than 50,000 fires are caused by fireworks every year? That’s not to mention in years where areas have seen excessive amounts of dry weather, how many brush fires have been caused by fireworks. It’s crucial to take the proper precautions when operating fireworks. Here are some things to keep in mind.
Don’t ever try to take apart or assemble your own fireworks. Fireworks manufacturers go through stringent testing to make sure their fireworks are safe for it’s intended use. Any type of disassembly can disrupt the design. In that same vain, DO NOT point your fireworks, sparklers, or roman candles at yourself or others while lit. Keep an eye on young children using sparklers (only with adult assistance) and never let them actually use fireworks.
For safety purposes, have a portable fire extinguisher close by, or a water hose to help put out any sparks you see on the ground. If your firework doesn’t actually ignite, don’t try again. Just douse them in water or soak the firework or throw them away.
4. Have a Designated Driver or a Place to Stay
Unfortunately, the Fourth of July is the deadliest driving night of the year for Americans. While some people think they might be “sober enough” to drive after a night of drinking, the reality is impaired driving crashes accounts for 28% of all fatal crashes. To prevent this from happening, make sure if you are hosting a party, you have places for everyone to stay. If you are attending a party and the host doesn’t have a place for you to stay, designate a friend or yourself to be sober for the night and be able to drive home.