July 4th Safety Tips

Have a safe July 4th!As everyone flocks outdoors to enjoy their yards this July 4th weekend, it’s important to keep a few safety tips in mind. From pool safety to preventing grill fires, here’s how you can keep your yard and family safe this Independence Day:

  1. Place fire pits and grills in a safe place. A barbecue cookout in the backyard is a July 4th must! But considering grills cause close to 9,000 home and outside fires every year, it is a wise idea to brush up on fire safety. Never place grills or fire pits close to anything combustible (such as siding or an overhang), keep grills clean in order to avoid grease fires, and never leave a grill or fire pit on unattended.
  2. Keep children off the lawn while you are mowing. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) estimates that about 17,000 children require emergency care each year because of lawn mower accidents. Children under 12 should not operate a walk-behind mower, and children under 16 should not operate a riding lawn mower, according to the AAP.
    So when you mow, make sure any young children are either in-doors, or with a guardian a safe distance away.
  3. Make sure access to your pool is restricted. There is nothing like finding refuge from the intense summer heat with a refreshing dip in the pool. But a pool, whether in-ground or above ground, comes with great responsibility. Always make sure that people cannot enter the pool area unattended. This means securing your pool deck with a latched gate or protecting your yard with a fence. Always make sure that all pool equipment and lighting are working properly to avoid electrical shock.
  4. Supervise children on trampolines and playsets. Many homes with children will have trampolines or playsets somewhere in the backyard. While these can be sources of a great deal of summer fun for kids, they can cause a lot of injuries. Did you know that trampolines alone cause some 100,000 injuries each year? When it comes to safety on trampolines, playsets, and other outdoor toys, supervision is key. You will also want to regularly check the condition of these fun backyard fixtures. For example, when it comes to playsets, keep an eye out for sturdiness, rusty bolts, and wood rot, and make any repairs that might be necessary. If you have a trampoline, be sure to anchor it to the ground and check the trampoline on a regular basis to ensure its stability.
  5. Practice Firework Safety. Much like BBQ, watching a fireworks display is a July 4th staple. But according to the American Pyrotechnics Association, fireworks annually cause more than 20,000 fires, 9,000 injuries, and 4 deaths. And while sparklers and firecrackers seem innocent enough, they account for almost 40 percent of all fireworks-related accidents. So if you’re going to use fireworks this July 4th, make sure you have a supply of water close by as a precaution, you only light one firework at a time and never attempt to relight a ‘dud’, never throw or point a firework towards a person, animal or vehicle, and never give a firework to a small child.

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