Having a Safe 4th of July WeekendThere is nothing that signifies the beginning of summer more than a 4th of July weekend. School is out, and many employees have a long three-day weekend. Falling on a Sunday this year, the official day off is the following day, Monday. The big focus is to get the family together for some quality fun time. However, this holiday comes with its share of cautions. You need to be aware of your local rules, pay attention to your surroundings, and stay safe. Here are a few safety tips, along with ideas on how our home security systems assist us in protecting our families during that weekend.
FireworksDuring the 4th of July, the big attraction is fireworks, whether at home or at the local city’s display. As beautiful to watch and as fun to play with as fireworks and sparklers are, we tend to forget the danger. Sparklers can get up to 1,800 degrees, hot enough to melt steel. Every year in the U.S., thousands of children and adults receive injuries from sparklers alone. Children require supervision at all times when around any fireworks. Adults need to ensure safety precautions are in place in the case of an emergency.
Be sure to have a hose or other water source nearby in case of a fire. Also, a bucket of water comes in handy for dunking your sparklers or other cooled fireworks to make sure they are completely out before disposing of them. Know where your fire extinguisher resides in the home in case of an emergency where it is needed. At this time of year, it is a good idea to make sure your smoke detector is in good working order. Home security cameras also serve you well to keep an eye on your home if you are not there. You may be at another location, but you want to make sure your home is safe from an errant firework getting away from a neighbor. Home alarm monitoring assists with this too.
Speaking of neighbors, be considerate of them at this time. Not everyone appreciates loud noises going on into the late hours of the evening. Also, fireworks are a source of fear for many pets. Think about those around you.
PicnicsPicnics and grilling out are another tradition that comes with this weekend. It is also another area where we tend to focus on the fun and forget about any hazards that come with it. Grills seem like a simple item to use, but in reality, you are working with gas, smoke, and fire. Beware of breathing in too much smoke. The smoke contains carbon monoxide and cancer-causing PAH. Keep the grill outside and positioned away from anything flammable, including trees, bushes, and your house. Children and pets need to be supervised and kept away from the hot grill to avoid burns or other incidents.
Also, when it comes to picnics, be sure to keep your food cool until ready to cook or serve. Food poisoning is one way to ruin your long weekend. On another note, alcohol is a common picnic item. Don’t let too much interfere with your judgment when it comes to fireworks, grilling, or especially driving home.
Cooling OffOf course, with summertime and picnics comes time for swimming. Once again, don’t let all the fun make you lose focus on safety. Whether is it a swimming pool or another area you swim at, put someone in charge of supervision of the children at all times. Don’t assume someone is out there. The YMCA offers free Water Watcher cards with lanyards that the supervising adult can wear. It then gets passed to the next adult taking turns. That way, you are sure that there is someone always there.
Home security allows cameras and door contacts to let you know what is going on at all times. A door contact alerts you when the door to the pool opens. Use your smartphone app to check on it, and the cameras show you if someone went outside.