Kentucky and Indiana July 4th Safety Tips
Is there any better way to spend July Fourth than surrounded by family and friends, watching fireworks, grilling, swimming, and boating in one of Kentucky’s many lakes?
As you’re planning your holiday weekend festivities, it’s also important to prepare for the unexpected. Hessig and Pohl Injury Attorneys reminds revelers to take Fourth of July safety seriously with these five tips.
#1 Leave the Fireworks to the Pros
Fireworks can be dangerous. One of the most beloved July 4 fireworks are handheld sparklers. But did you know that sparklers can burn as hot as 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit?
Temperatures like these can easily cause serious burn injuries if not handled properly. Do not allow young children to play with sparklers and supervise older children with sparklers carefully.
On the off chance that you can light your own legal fireworks, be sure to follow these additional safety tips:
- Use fireworks on the ground or a driveway, away from bushes, grass, trees, and vehicles.
- Keep spectators, especially children, at a safe distance.
- Only allow sober and responsible adults to light fireworks.
- Keep a bucket of water, hose, and a fire extinguisher on hand to prevent fires.
- Spent fireworks should be placed in a bucket of water overnight to avoid re-ignition.
Finally, keep in mind that fireworks can be disruptive to your neighbors, especially pets and those suffering from PTSD. Be considerate and leave the big fireworks to the professionals.
#2 Respect the Grill
Hamburgers and hot dogs are a Fourth of July staple. Whether you are hosting or attending a barbecue, there are a few things that you should keep in mind to keep yourself and other guests safe.
When it comes to operating a grill safely, it’s important to remember that no matter how much of a grillmaster you think you are, grill injuries are common, affecting almost 20,000 Americans per year. Follow these Fourth of July safety tips to make your backyard barbecue an injury-free success.
- Be sure to thoroughly wash your hands and grilling equipment before touching any food to help prevent the spread of germs.
- Clean your grill before and after every use. This prevents grease and fat buildup.
- If you have a gas grill, check hoses for cracks or holes that could allow gas to leak, and make sure the lid is open before lighting it.
- If using a charcoal grill, never add starter fluid to coals that have already been ignited.
- Do not grill in a closed area such as a garage, or on a surface that could catch fire. Avoid grilling below eaves or tree branches.
- Make sure your grill is on a flat, stable surface and use a grill pad or splatter mat underneath your BBQ to protect your decks or patios.
- Make sure to keep children, pets, and drunk persons away from the grill. Open flames can spark unexpectedly.
- When not in use, make sure that the tank is closed, and that the knobs are off on the stove. Cover disconnected hoses with protective caps and store spare propane tanks in a cool area away from sunlight.
Extra Food Preparation Tips
- Always buy meat from a reputable grocery store or butcher shop. If buying pre-packed meat, check the expiration date before cooking. Keep uncooked meats away from ready-to-eat foods.
- Egg salads and deviled eggs are staples of holiday potlucks, but they can also spoil easily in the heat. Make sure to keep these dishes refrigerated.
- Be wary of other people’s food allergies and sensitivities. It may be helpful to check with guests ahead of time to ensure you have alternative options available for those with dietary restrictions.
#3 Party Responsibly
Beer and cocktails are a common sight on the Fourth of July, but over-imbibing can also be a serious liability. If you are serving alcohol at your celebration, make sure not to over serve your guests.
Provide plenty of water and food to help metabolize the alcohol and prevent dehydration. In addition, do not provide alcohol for those under the age of 21.
If your guests have had too much to drink, ensure they stay off the road. Either have a guest space available, call a cab or download a rideshare app to ensure that they get home safely. Don’t be afraid to take the keys away from an inebriated driver to prevent drunk driving.
#4 Don’t Rock the Boat
Spending Independence Day on the water is a rite of passage for many Kentucky and Indiana residents. If you’ll be boating over the holiday weekend, make sure you practice these Fourth of July safety tips.
- Check the weather to make sure the water is suitable for boating.
- Don’t drink if you’re behind the wheel of a boat. Operating a boat is a serious responsibility. Passengers should also limit their alcohol consumption to prevent boat accidents and injuries.
- Let someone know where you’ll be and when you’re planning on returning to shore.
- Wear appropriate safety gear, including a properly fitted life jacket.
- Follow all Kentucky or Indiana boating laws.
#5 Keep Your Head Above Water
Swimming in pools and lakes are a fun way to stay active and get out of the summer heat, and many Fourth of July parties involve this activity. Whether you’re in a lake or at a residential pool, however, it’s important to understand the very real threat of drowning and swimming pool accidents, which are among the top causes of death in children under the age of 15 according to the National Safety Council (NSC). Follow these tips to help prevent swimming injuries.
- Closely supervise children at all times or assign a responsible party to supervise the pool, preferably someone with CPR training.
- Don’t assume that someone else is watching the kids. Even if a lifeguard is present, he or she can’t closely watch everyone at once.
- Teach kids and adults not to run around the pool. Slick surfaces can easily lead to a slip and fall accident.
- If a child hasn’t yet learned how to swim or isn’t a strong swimmer, don’t rely on air-filled water wings to keep them safe. Invest in flotation devices approved by the U.S. Coast Guard and avoid cheap products, which are more likely to be dangerous or defective.
- Avoid diving into residential pools or bodies of water you don’t know the depth of. Diving into shallow water can lead to traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord injuries.
Injured on July Fourth? Contact a Louisville Personal Injury Lawyer
Sometimes, accidents happen even to the most careful people. Oftentimes the resulting injuries are because of another person’s negligence. The Louisville personal injury lawyers at Hessig and Pohl Injury Attorneys understand that accidents can happen anytime, anywhere.
That’s why we are available 24/7 even on the Fourth of July to help injured clients get the legal help they need and deserve. If you’ve been injured, contact us today by calling 502-777-1111, chatting online with a live representative, or by sending us a message through our secure contact form. We’ll schedule a free consultation to discuss your case and explain all your options. There’s no fee unless we win — call now!
The information on this blog is for general information purposes only. Nothing herein should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.