Fourth of July is this Saturday. It will be a long weekend of picnics with friends and family, parades, fireworks and trips to the beach. There are three major annual fireworks events in the Savannah area: The Independence Day Celebration at Hunter Army Airfield on Thursday, July 2nd, the fireworks at Tybee Island on July 3rd and the fireworks over the Savannah River from River Street in historic downtown Savannah.
The 4th of July holiday events are always fun, but they can also be very dangerous due to mishandling and misuse of fireworks, improper grilling techniques or unsafe beach-going practices. Stop N Stor wants to keep your family safe this holiday weekend by sharing a few fireworks, grilling and beach safety tips!
Beach Safety Tips
Many families will be heading to the many great beaches on Tybee Island or along the South Carolina coasts during the long holiday weekend. There are a few simple tips to remember when you spend large amounts of time at the beach that even the avid beach goer should always be reminded of:
- Only swim in a lifeguarded beach within a designated swimming area. These areas are roped off for safety reasons. If there is a rip current warning, do not go swimming!
- Keep alert for local weather conditions. Storms can move in off shore very quickly.
- Always swim with a buddy.
- Young children should always wear a coast guard approved life jacket.
- Watch out for aquatic life including turtles and turtle nests. Keep an eye out for reports for shark sightings or attacks at the beaches in the Georgia and South Carolina area.
- Limit exposure to direct sunlight between 10am and 4pm. If you are outside during these times, always wear sunscreen starting at spy 15, if you are fairer, then go with higher spas.
- Drink plenty of water. Avoid caffeine and alcohol when outside in hot weather as these types of beverages will make you more dehydrated.
Grilling Safety Tips
It is very important to be prepared and safe when using both propane and charcoal grills.
- Propane and charcoal barbeque grills should only be used outdoors. The grill should be placed away from the home, deck railings and overhanging branches. Clear away any flammable debris that is in the area where the grill is placed.
- Make sure that the grill is placed in a well-ventilated area and is firmly in place and cannot be tipped over.
- Never leave a grill unattended when it is in use.
- Keep children and pets at least 3 feet away from the grill at all times.
- If using a charcoal grill, only use charcoal starter fluid to enhance or start the fire. Do not add any other flammable fluids to the fire. When you are finished using the charcoal grill, let the coals completely cool before deposing them in a metal container.
- For propane tank grills use, always check the tank and hoses for leaks before each use. If you smell gas while cooking on the grill, immediately get away from the grill and call the fire department. Do not move the grill!
- Do not use wire brushes to clean your grill.
- Use long-handled utensils when cooking on a grill to avoid burns and splatters. Do not wear loose-fitting clothing near the open flame of a grill. Use flame –retardant mitts when adjusting hot vents and grills.
Fireworks Safety Tips
It is recommended to attend public fireworks shows put on by professionals. If you do plan on setting off any type of fireworks, there are important safety tips that should be followed.
- Obey all local laws pertaining to fireworks and displaying fireworks.
- Keep pets indoors if you are setting off fireworks. They could become agitated with the sights, sounds, and smells of fireworks.
- Keep the children and pets at least 500 feet away from where fireworks are being set off.
- Only use fireworks outside. Point fireworks away from homes. Keep fireworks away from landing in trees and brush as these materials are extremely flammable.
- Have a hose, a bucket of water and a fire extinguisher on hand for emergency situations. Soak all of the fireworks after use in a bucket of water before throwing them in a metal thrash can.
- Light one firework at a time. Never relight a dud firework.
- Make sure to properly dispose of the dud fireworks in water before depositing in a metal container.
- Supervise children when using sparklers. It is important to hold on tight to the sparklers when in use. Do not use sparklers while sitting down and never throw them when they are lit. Children do not realize that sparklers can get up to 2,000 degrees and can be extremely dangerous.
Stop N Stor wishes everyone a safe and happy Fourth of July!