There’s nothing like the sticky heat of summer on a July evening lit with colorful fireworks. The Fourth of July marks our nation’s independence and has become a time of celebration with our families, friends, and neighborhoods. Everything turns red, white, and blue to mark the Declaration of Independence across the country. Plus, there are plenty of fun activities planned across Myrtle Beach and South Carolina that range from boat parades to concerts to fireworks over the beach. Whatever you decide to do this holiday, these Fourth of July safety tips can help keep you and your family out of harm’s way.
Firework Safety Tips
Fireworks have become an iconic symbol of the Fourth of July, right after the American flag. If you and your family are planning on setting off some of your own fireworks, keep these Fourth of July safety tips in mind:
- Keep the fireworks outside! Never light them inside.
- Keep water on hand just in case. A hose nearby is ideal.
- Make sure to read the instructions—and the caution label—before lighting any fireworks.
- Don’t drink and light! Drinking can impair your judgment.
- Wear safety goggles to protect your eyes when using fireworks.
- If a firework doesn’t go off, wait 20 minutes and then place it in a bucket of water. Don’t try to relight it.
- Make sure to soak all used fireworks with water before tossing them in your outdoor garbage. Just because they don’t look lit, doesn’t mean they aren’t.
The first week of July is notorious for firework accidents. Last year, a professional football player even injured his hand lighting fireworks. Every year around the Fourth, 200 people check into the emergency room with firework injuries. Don’t be a statistic—if you choose to set off fireworks, follow the instructions, use proper safety equipment, and stay sober.
Beach Safety Tips
With the gorgeous South Carolina beaches, there are bound to be plenty of people in the sand and surf this holiday. The Red Cross advises beachgoers to:
- Have young children and those who can’t swim wear a life jacket,
- Follow the lifeguard’s instructions, and
- Beware of rip currents (remember, swim parallel to the shore when caught in a rip current until you are free).
Check the weather before heading out and consider bringing along an umbrella or tent to provide some shade. And of course, pack plenty of sunscreen and apply liberally.
Grilling Safety Tips
Who doesn’t love setting out the grill for the Fourth? If you’re planning on grilling corn on the cob, burgers, or even pizza, make sure to follow these grill safety tips:
- Tell the kids to run elsewhere and steer clear of the grilling area.
- When you set up the grill, make sure it isn’t too close to anything that can burn like deck railings, eaves, and low branches.
- Remove any grease that has built up.
- Don’t go crazy with the lighter fluid if you’re using charcoal. You can always add more.
- Make sure someone is always on grill duty. Don’t leave the grill unattended.
If you have any foods set out for a picnic, bring along plenty of ice packs. Keep cold foods cold and hot foods hot to lessen the chance of food contamination.
General Fourth of July Safety Tips
However you choose to spend the holiday, there are a couple of no-brainer safety tips that you should always follow. If you plan to be outside, make sure to use sunscreen. And if you plan on drinking, assign a designated driver beforehand. There’s never an excuse for drinking and driving.
We hope these Fourth of July safety tips help you and your family enjoy a fun Independence Day!