BUCKHANNON — The City of Buckhannon will be celebrating an early Fourth of July following Festival Fridays on July 1. As others prepare to ignite this Fourth of July holiday it is very important to remember to stay safe.
Firework safety is something to be taken very seriously. According to redcross.org, “The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public firework show put on by professionals. Stay at least 500 feet away from the show. Many states outlaw most fireworks. Leave any area immediately where untrained amateurs are using fireworks.”
If people are setting fireworks off at home, try to follow these safety steps:
1. Never give fireworks to small children, and never throw or point a firework toward people, animals, vehicles, structures, or flammable materials. Always follow the instructions on the packaging.
2. Keep a supply of water close by as a precaution.
3. Make sure the person lighting fireworks always wears eye protection.
4. Light only one firework at a time and never attempt to relight “a dud.”
5. Store fireworks in a cool, dry place away from children and pets.
6. Take into consideration those with PTSD as well as pets – setting off fireworks may scare them.
Another staple of the holiday is outdoor cooking via grill or open flame. Early on, Independence Day was often the biggest community festival of the year. During this time, barbecue became the ultimate party food. Over 74 million Americans will plan to grill out this holiday. Burgers (85%), steak (80%), hot dogs (79%), chicken (73%) are the most popular foods for the grill.
If planning to grill out, check out the following grilling and food tips:
Grill and Food Tips:
• Never leave a lit or hot grill unattended
• Designate a “grill master” to assure children and pets stay away from the flames or hot grill
• Keep a fire extinguisher nearby
• Do not use a grill under porches/overhangs or too close to any structure
• Cover food to protect it from insects outdoors
• Cut up hotdogs, grapes, and other foods that may be choking hazards for children
• Take steps to keep food at picnics and barbeques at proper temperatures to avoid foodborne bacteria (www.fda.gov/Food/ResourcesForYou/Consumers/ucm109899.htm)
• Keep cold foods cold and hot foods hot
Please remember that many people enjoy drinking during barbecues for this holiday, but do not drink and drive. It is not worth the risk to yourself or others. If you do drink, make sure to have a designated driver or a safe place to stay. Enjoy Independence Day; stay safe and have fun!