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It’s time to celebrate America’s birthday! July 4th is usually synonymous with a day of BBQs and fireworks. Both are super fun activities, if done safely. So here’s a few tips to enjoy and stay safe on the 4th of July:
Grilling is as American as apple pie. Be sure that you have a designated “grill master” who is in charge of making sure the gas connection is secure, there are no gas leaks, and protects oneself from the flames (a pair of fire-resistant gloves are best.) Keep the kids far away from the grill by placing all the cooked food in a separate area so they don’t have to line up near the grill. Also, be sure there are no hanging branches, limbs or decorations that are close to the grill to catch fire. And of course, make sure your “grill master” is a great cook!
There’s nothing wrong with indulging in some beer, wine or cocktails on the 4th. However, alcohol related injuries run high on the 4th of July. Stay hydrated with water throughout the day to avoid dehydration and getting drunk too quickly. Drink at least one large glass of water for every alcoholic drink that you consume. If you’re serving drinks at your party, keep the party area clear of any seemingly dangerous obstacles that people may injure themselves on (this can be as simple as putting a decal on your sliding glass or screen door).
It goes without saying that driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs is not OK. Unfortunately, many people choose to take that risk, especially on holidays. Cops love to pull people over to meet there quotas and of course, to keep other drivers safe. If you are driving and see a car swerving or driving dangerously, pull over and let them pass you. If you are walking on a street, be sure you are visible to other drivers by carrying lights or wearing reflective gear.
Pickpockets have a field day in crowded venues. Be aware of your body in relation to other people. Keep enough space between you and others and keep your wallet tucked away in your front pocket rather than your back. If you’re carrying a purse, use a cross body bag that day and keep the purse on the front of your body with a hand on it as much as you can. Backpacks are not a great idea because you can’t see them or feel if someone else’s hand may be reaching in.
And remember, July 4th and many other holidays come with increased terror warnings. This means heightened security at federal buildings but your local town hall or other place of gathering may not be so protected. So always be on high alert for suspicious activities, especially where large crowds form. Fireworks and loud booms may not raise too many eyebrows at first on the 4th, so keep your intuition heightened and your children in eyesight. Authorities warn us that more “lone wolf” attacks are possible but as of now there are no specific threats for the July 4th celebration.
Happy July 4th!