It is standard for all Americans to celebrate the Fourth of July with friends and family. Boating, swimming, grilling and watching fireworks is something many look forward to on this summer holiday. While there is much fun to be had, the activities that surround the Fourth of July can also be dangerous.
That is why you must plan for the unexpected to happen on this long weekend. Our Tampa Bay Holiday Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton want to remind you to be safe this Fourth of July while celebrating in Tampa. Here are our top 5 safety tips for Independence Day:
- Let the pros handle the fireworks show: Fireworks injure thousands of people each year, most of them being children and teens. What many people fail to realize is that fireworks are quite dangerous and can easily result in severe burns, property damage and fires, and even death. Even sparklers, when lit, can reach temperatures of 1,800 degrees. We encourage you to let the professionals handle the fireworks and just sit back and enjoy them – all while staying injury free. If you must use some sparklers, then make sure you view what the State Fire Marshal has deemed legal for 2022.
- Avoid a grill injury: While you may be the grill master of your neighborhood, accidents can happen at any time. Grill injuries are actually quite common, affecting about 20,000 Americans annually. If you are going to be firing the grill up this Fourth of July weekend for hotdogs, hamburgers, steaks, or anything else, remember these important tips:
- Wash your hands and all grilling equipment before you handle any food – this will help prevent the spread of germs.
- Clean your grill before and after you use it to keep fat buildup (this can cause fires) at bay.
- Check any hoses for holes or cracks that could make gas leak and be sure to open the grill lid before lighting it.
- Never grill in enclosed spaces, like a garage or near trees or bushes as these areas can ignite fires.
- Use a grill pad under your grill to help with splatters and keep your grill on a flat surface.
- Keep pets, kids, and anyone drinking away from the grill to be safe.
- Make sure the grill is properly shut off when it is not in use. Any spare propane tanks should be disconnected and stored in a cool place away from sunlight.
- Drink responsibly: The Fourth of July is a celebration, but you can party responsibly. If you are having guests over and serving beer and cocktails, make sure you have plenty of food and water to help assist with the metabolism of alcohol. Do not serve alcohol to any guests under 21 and take the keys away from anyone who has been overserved. You can have a guest room available, call a cab, or even download a rideshare app.
- Be safe when boating: If you are going to be on the water over the Fourth of July weekend in Tampa, then follow these tips:
- Check weather conditions before you head out, like high winds, thunderstorms, or even severe heat (to avoid heatstroke).
- Do not drink and operate a boat. On that same note, limit any passenger’s consumption of alcohol to prevent any unnecessary boating accident injuries.
- Tell friends or family where you are going and when you will be back – this is just in case something goes awry.
- Everyone on the boat should wear a lifejacket at all times on the boat and make sure that it fits properly.
- Be safe at swimming pools: The Fourth of July means that many people will be swimming in pools, beaches, or lakes, which is a great way to beat the high temperatures in Tampa. Drowning accidents are a leading cause of death in children under the age of 15. If you are going to be at a pool or swimming in any body of water this holiday weekend, please remember the following:
- Always keep an eye on children in the water. Drowning and near drowning incidents can happen in seconds. Don’t ever assume that someone else is watching your child, even if a lifeguard is present – make sure you are alert.
- Make sure no one runs around a pool, as children, teens, and adults can all slip and fall very easily.
- If you have young children that are not able to swim or are not strong swimmers yet, then invest in flotation devices that are approved by the U.S. Coast Guard.
- Never dive into shallow waters as this can lead to spinal cord injuries and traumatic brain injuries.
One single act of negligence can lead to disaster. Our Tampa Bay Holiday Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton know how easily accidents can happen, and at any time. If you are involved in a Fourth of July accident caused by another person’s negligence, then please call us at 813-221-3200 or contact us online. We will be available 24/7 this holiday weekend and will go through your case with you and lay out all of your options.