Stay Safe and Sound This Fourth of July

By Shannon Randol, intern contributor, American Red Cross

What could possibly go wrong with explosives and a match?

This Saturday is the fourth of July, and most people plan to sit outside, barbecue something, relax with friends and enjoy a loud, colorful and explosive firework show as the night’s finale.

Firework Safety

In Texas, you are allowed to purchase and ignite fireworks on your own property. The best way to safely enjoy the holiday is to attend a public firework show put on by licensed professionals, but if you decide to put on your show at home, we’ve got you covered.

Here are some safety tips for those of you setting off fireworks at home:

1. Never allow children to play to fireworks.
2. Keep flames away from loose clothing and face.
3. Don’t make your own fireworks.
4. Always use fireworks outside.
5. Keep a bucket of water or a water hose nearby just in case.
6. Light firecrackers one at a time.
7. Never aim fireworks at other people or yourself.
8. Soak firework remnants in water before discarding in trash.
9. Only buy fireworks from licensed stores, tents and stands. Don’t purchase fireworks from persons on the street or at a home, usually these are transactions of illegal fireworks. Legal fireworks have bright colored packaging and a distinct warning label on the wrapping. Illegal fireworks aren’t packaged and are usually wrapped in brown paper.
10. Ignite fireworks away from the home, brush, leaves and other flammable materials.

According to the National Fire Protection Association approximately 50,000 fires a year are caused by improper use of fireworks.

Highway Safety:

Thousands of families will be on the road traveling over the weekend, so it’s essential to keep these tips in mind while road-tripping:

1. No texting while driving. This includes emails, Facebook and Twitter!
2. Always wear your seat belt.
3. Never drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
4. Use caution in work zones.
5. Follow the speed limit!

We want you to enjoy the weekend with your families, and your safety is of great importance to those of us at the Red Cross. Stay safe this holiday weekend, and enjoy the bang!

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