Stay safe this Fourth of July

July 4th is here and many of us will visit the beach, watch a fireworks display, or fire up the barbecue for a celebration.  The Red Cross wants you and your loved ones to have an enjoyable and safe Independence Day, so we’ve come up with tips for ya.

Beach Safety

  • Check the weather and water conditions before heading into the water.
  • Swim only at beaches where a lifeguard is present, but make sure children are always supervised by an adult also.
  • Avoid alcohol consumption before and during water activities.
  • Never swim alone, always have a buddy.
  • Beware of rip currents – If caught in a rip current, swim parallel to the shore and once free, turn and swim toward shore.  If you are unable to make it to shore, shout for help or tread water until out of the current. Stay at least 100 feet away from piers and jetties. Permanent rip currents often exist near these structures.

 Monitor Sun Exposure

  • You should limit your exposure to direct sunlight between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., and should apply broad-spectrum sunscreen with a protection factor of at least 15 throughout the day.
  • Wear sunglasses that will absorb UV sunlight to protect your eyes.
  • Drink plenty of water and avoid drinks containing alcohol or caffeine.

 Fireworks Safety

  • Remember that under Massachusetts state law “it is illegal for private citizens to use, possess, or sell fireworks in Massachusetts, or to purchase them legally elsewhere and then transport them into the state.”*
  • Stay at least 500 feet away from professional fireworks displays.
  • Leave any area immediately where untrained amateurs are using fireworks.

 Grilling Safety

  • Always watch the grill when in use.
  • Never grill indoors – not in a house, camper, tent or any enclosed area.
  • Make sure children and pets stay away from the grill.
  • Keep the grill away from the house, the deck, tree branches or anything that could catch fire.
  • Never add charcoal starter fluid when coals have already been ignited.
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