Independence Day Holiday Safety
Yulee, Fla. – Sheriff Bill Leeper asks all citizens to think about safety as they make plans to celebrate the “Fourth of July.” Every year thousands of people and animals are injured by fireworks. Fireworks can result in severe burns, scars and disfigurement that can last a lifetime.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product and Safety Commission, there are nearly 9,000 emergency room-treated injuries associated with fireworks a year. You can enjoy a safe Fourth of July by following these safety tips:
- Use sparklers and other “legal” novelties on a flat, hard surface. Do not light them on grass.
- Use sparklers in an open area. Keep children and pets at least 30 feet away from all ignited fireworks. Also keep in mind that livestock such as horses, cows, etc. can also be frightened by fireworks.
- Light only one item at a time and never attempt to re-light a dud.
- Don’t purchase or use any unwrapped items or items that may have been tampered with.
- Keep a fire extinguisher or water hose on hand for emergencies.
Remember: “If it launches or explodes it is off limits.”
Some of the illegal fireworks prohibited for normal resale are as follows:
Bottle Rockets, Firecrackers; M80’s; Projectile Fireworks; Launchable Rockets with Stands.
If you are using “legal” sparklers, novelties and trick noisemakers there is still a risk of injury. When lit, some sparklers can reach temperatures between 1,300 and 1,800 degrees, which are at least 200 degrees hotter than standard butane lighter.
The Nassau County Sheriff’s Office also wants citizens to use caution when swimming at a beach or at a pool. “Sadly, most deaths from drowning occur within a few feet of safety”, Sheriff Leeper said. The best thing anyone can do to stay safe in and around the water is to learn to swim.
At a swimming pool, take the following precautions:
- If no lifeguard is on duty, do not let children swim unless they are accompanied by a responsible adult who knows lifesaving techniques and first aid.
- Post CPR instructions and directions to call 9-1-1 or your local emergency number in the pool area.
- Look around the pool area to be certain lifesaving devices are readily available for emergency use.
- Be sure covers are installed on all drains of a swimming pool or in a wading pool. The suction created by the pool’s circulating pumps can be very dangerous unless it is reduced by covers.
- Take frequent breaks, drink water, reapply sunscreen (SPF 15 or higher) and rest.
- If a child is missing, check the pool first. Go to the edge of the pool and scan the entire pool, bottom, and surface, as well as the surrounding pool area.
- To reduce the risk of eye, ear, nose or throat infection from contaminated water, swim only in pools in which water quality is properly maintained.
At the beach, take the following precautions:
- Swim in a supervised, marked area with a lifeguard present, and swim with others. Never swim alone.
- If you are caught in a rip current, swim parallel to the shore until you are out of the current. Once you are free, turn and swim toward shore. If you can’t swim to the shore, float or tread water until you are free of the rip current and then head toward shore.
- Watch out for the “dangerous too’s” – too tired, too cold, too far from safety, too much sun, too much strenuous activity.
- Look for water that is reasonably clear and free of floating materials and odors.
- When diving at a beach, exercise extreme caution. Beach water is not as clear as water in a pool, so underwater obstructions may not be visible.
- Avoid having beach water in your mouth or nose.
“Following these precautions will help the children and citizens of Nassau County stay safe and healthy this holiday and throughout the summer” Leeper added.