Plan for a Safe & Happy Fourth

Have fun in the sun, but keep food and fireworks safety top of mind

July is a favorite month. It’s the middle of summer, the children are out of school and, of course, we celebrate Independence Day . Often, we enjoy grilled hamburgers and hot dogs, homemade ice cream and other sweet treats and, finally, fireworks. It is a time for fellowship with family and friends.

Nothing says Fourth of July like a spectacular fireworks display, but the safest way to enjoy this is to head to a local show. If you want to do your own fireworks at home, please keep these safety tips in mind:

  • Always follow the instructions on the packaging. Never give fireworks to small children.
  • Keep a supply of water close by as a precaution.
  • Wear protective eyewear when lighting fireworks.
  • Light only one firework at a time . Never attempt to relight a dud.
  • Store fireworks in a cool, dry place away from children and pets.
  • Never throw or point a firework toward people, animals, vehicles, structures or flammable materials.

Cookouts are a great way to bring folks together on the Fourth. Whether you are grilling in your backyard or at a community park, make sure your feast includes a generous portion of fun and a side helping of safety.
Consider these safety tips:

  • Supervise your grill at all times.
  • Use the proper tools for cooking on a grill.
  • Never add charcoal starter fluid when the coals
    have already been ignited.
  • Always follow manufacturers’ instructions when using grills.

Fireworks and cookouts wouldn’t be complete without a sunny day. Here’s hoping we have good weather. If we do, make sure you practice sun safety:

  • Use a broad-spectrum SPF sunscreen , and be sure to reapply often.
  • Protect your eyes with sunglasses.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Be on the lookout for signs of heat stroke: hot, red skin; changes in consciousness; rapid, weak pulse; and rapid, shallow breathing.

However you choose to celebrate, Gulf Coast Electric Cooperative wishes you a safe and happy Fourth of July.

Fireworks Safety Tips

Fireworks and the Fourth of July go hand-in-hand. We want you to have a safe, fun-filled celebration! About ⅔ of all fireworks-related injuries occur between June 16 and July 16, so keep these safety tips in mind:

  • Make sure fireworks are legal in your community before using them.
  • Never buy professional-grade fireworks. They are not designed for safe consumer use.
  • Keep small children a safe distance from all fireworks, including sparklers, which can burn at temperatures in excess of 2,000 degrees.
  • Never reignite or handle malfunctioning fireworks. Keep a bucket of water or garden hose nearby to thoroughly soak duds before throwing them away.
  • Keep pets indoors and away from fireworks to avoid contact injuries or noise reactions.