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It’s time for Fourth of July celebrations – fireworks, a backyard barbecue, maybe a family reunion. Whatever people have planned, the American Red Cross wants them to enjoy their holiday and has steps they can follow to be safe.
“We want everyone to have a great holiday, and a safe one,” said Rahim Balsara, CEO of The American Red Cross in New Mexico. “Whether the weekend will involve fireworks, grilling or visiting family, we have safety tips everyone can follow.”
The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public fireworks show put on by professionals. Stay at least 500 feet away from the show. Many states outlaw most fireworks. If someone is setting fireworks off at home, they should follow these safety steps:
Leave any area immediately where untrained amateurs are using fireworks.
In New Mexico fireworks are banned from most state and federal lands including National Forests.
Every year people in this country are injured while using backyard charcoal or gas grills. Follow these steps to safely cook up treats for the backyard barbecue:
Always supervise a barbecue grill when in use.
Never grill indoors – not in your house, camper, tent, or any enclosed area.
Make sure everyone, including the pets, stays away from the grill.
Keep the grill out in the open, away from the house, the deck, tree branches, or anything that could catch fire.
Use the long-handled tools especially made for cooking on the grill to keep the chef safe.
Never add charcoal starter fluid when coals have already been ignited.
Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using grills.
Limit exposure to direct sunlight between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., and wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a protection factor of at least 15. Reapply sunscreen often. Remember to drink plenty of water regularly, even if not thirsty. Avoid drinks with alcohol or caffeine in them. Protect the eyes by wearing sunglasses that will absorb 100 percent of UV sunlight. Protect the feet - the sand can burn them and glass and other sharp objects can cut them.
During hot weather, watch for signs of heat stroke.