NBSB Gives Tips for a Safe 4th of July Celebration

Everyone knows what to expect when the fourth of July is just around the corner. Independence Day celebrations are about a dime a dozen in the United States. Everything from fireworks to cookouts and everything red, white, and blue. But for the first time, maybe ever, the perils of 2020 kept us from celebrating our freedom, and in some respects, many of us did not feel free at all. As Americans, we have the luxury of freedom, but when the pandemic came tearing through the globe, all our regular summer events and celebrations came to a screeching halt.

So finally, months later, it seems we have come out on the other side and can finally get back to everything we have been missing so badly. It’s important to remember as we bust through those post-pandemic.

Firework Safety:

Of course, the safest way to enjoy fireworks is at a public event. However, it’s no secret that people shoot fireworks through the whole month of July, especially the 4th. If you choose to set off fireworks at your home, keep these simple safety measures in mind:

  1. Before the festivities begin, ensure you are storing fireworks in a cool, safe place, away from animals and children. Fireworks can be dangerous, especially if they are stored somewhere, hot or wet, like in your yard or a hot car.
  2. Ensure that you wear protective equipment like safety goggles while lighting fireworks.
  3. Remember, fireworks are, well, fire. So never hand those fireworks to children or set them off close to residential areas, people, animals, or structures; when in doubt, follow the directions printed on the package.
  4. Keep a supply of water close by if a firework gets out of control.
  5. Some fireworks don’t go off when you first light them; these are called “a dud.” NEVER attempt to pick up and relight the dud.

Food Safety:

The ever-popular fourth of July celebration often includes a cookout. Nothing better than celebrating with friends and family with some great food. Do not forget that food is not meant to sit in the beating sun all day. Most food is intended to be refrigerated and eaten soon after it escapes from the fridge. The longer food is out of refrigeration, especially in warmer temperature, is an invitation to all those yucky bacteria that makes you sick., Use these tips to ensure your event stays enjoyable and not into a bacteria frenzy. Wash your hands before preparing food. Do not leave food in the hot sun; always use ice or cold packs to keep food at a safe temperature.

Water Safety:

This summer is essential to follow these crucial tips for pool and beachside safety!

Pool Safety:

Children and adults should learn to swim so they have basic swimming abilities to enter the water, get a breath, stay afloat, change position, swim a distance, and then get out of the water safely.

Watch the weather and get out of the water at the first sign of lightning or the rumble of thunder. Stay indoors and away from moisture for 30 minutes after the last lightning flashes or thunder roars.

Plan to be by the pool:

  1. Elect someone as a lifeguard to ensure someone always has eyes on the people in the pool.
  2. Fence pools and spas with suitable barriers, including four-sided fencing
  3. Children, inexperienced swimmers, and all boaters should wear properly fitted U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets.
  4. Always swim in a lifeguarded area.

Beach Safety:

Remember that swimming in the ocean, lake, or river is different from swimming in a pool. Be sure you have the skills for these environments.

  1. Swim only at a beach with a lifeguard within the designated swimming area. Obey all instructions and orders from lifeguards and ask them about local conditions.
  2. Make sure you swim sober and always swim with a buddy. Know your limitations and ensure you have enough energy to swim back to shore.
  3. Protect your neck – don’t dive headfirst. Walk carefully into open waters. Watch out for and avoid aquatic life.
  4. If caught in a rip current, try not to panic—a signal to those on shore that you need assistance. Swim parallel to the shore until you are out of the current. Once you are free, swim toward shore. If you can’t swim to the coast, float or tread water until you are free of the rip current, and then head toward shore.