With the Fourth of July just a day away, most of us are planning to attend parties with family and friends. Backyards, beaches, rivers and lakes across the state of Florida will be filled with people eating, drinking, swimming, playing games, enjoying fireworks and most importantly, having fun. In an effort to promote a safe and happy holiday weekend for all, the Pasco County Personal Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton urge you to consider the following safety tips.
Always Use Fireworks Safely
We understand that fireworks are an essential part of celebrating America’s independence. However as much fun as they are, each year thousands of people are treated at hospitals for fireworks-related injuries. While most people tend to view sparklers as a safe alternative for children, please understand that sparklers burn at temperatures reaching 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. The sparks from just one simple sparkler can lead to permanent eye damage and burns to the face, fingers, legs and arms.
While attending a fireworks display conducted by trained professionals is always safer than attempting to put on your own show, should you choose to set off your own fireworks, follow these safety tips:
• Obey Florida state and local laws.
• Keep fireworks stored in a dry, cool place.
• Do not allow children to touch or light off any fireworks, under any circumstances.
• Do not throw fireworks at another person, period.
• Never lean your body over a firework as you light the fuse.
• Use a clear, outdoor area to light off your fireworks and make sure spectators are kept a safe distance from the blast.
• Only light one firework at a time.
• Do not try and relight a “dud” firework.
• In case a fire breaks outs, keep a bucket of water or a hose handy to put out
Be Careful Around Water
Swimming and water-related activities are perfect for the Fourth of July. However, water sports and swimming are linked to numerous deaths and injuries every year. While you can certainly partake in fun water activities this Fourth of July, keep the following tips in mind:
• Do not swim alone; always make sure you have someone else in the water with you.
• Always supervise children playing in the water at all times.
• Beaches, lakes and rivers are often crowded with boats and people on holiday weekends, so make sure you review safe boating practices and keep an eye out on your surroundings at all times. Always have an appropriate number of life preservers on your boat.
Holidays are designed for celebrating, so having a drink or two is totally fine. It is important to use alcohol responsibly, so review the following reminders:
• Never drink and drive. The Fourth of July holiday period is notorious for numerous collisions involving alcohol impaired drivers. Always plan a safe way to get home before consuming any alcoholic beverages.
• Avoid swimming and drinking. Alcohol impairs judgment and increases risky behavior, which is a dangerous combination for swimmers.
• Consuming alcohol and operating a boat is very dangerous, not just for you but everyone else around you. Alcohol impairs your judgment, vision, balance and reaction time.
• Always arrange for a sober driver, whether it be for your car or boat. A sober driver can mean the difference between a fun holiday celebration and an unfortunate situation that can ruin your holiday for years to come.
When driving this Fourth of July, be smart. With extra travelers on Pasco County roads, simple steps like following the speed limit, obeying traffic laws, avoiding driver distractions and buckling up can make the road safer for you and everyone else.
Use common sense and put the safety of yourself and others first this Independence Day. From all of us at Whittel & Melton, we hope you and your loved ones enjoy a safe and fun holiday weekend. If you or someone close to you is injured over the holiday, contact us right away for a free consultation. You can reach us 24/7 online or call our Pasco County office at 727-847-2299.