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Summer Safety Tips for the 4th of July

Public Safety information from the Sacramento Metro Fire District assistant chief.

With the Fourth of July holiday just a day away, summer fun is on just about everyone's mind. Folks living in Fair Oaks and Carmichael are likely no different. With so many ways to enjoy the summer holiday, it's also important to remember a few ways to ensure that summer fun doesn't turn into something one would rather forget.

Outdoor cooking safety

Long and warm summer days are an open invitation to enjoy outdoor cooking, water activities and block parties. However that last thing you want crashing your party are uniformed firefighters on official business. Summertime should be a time of fun and making happy memories. Knowing a few safety tips can have you enjoying your summer and avoiding unwanted attention from local firefighters.

Annually there are almost 3,800 Americans injured by gas or charcoal grill fires according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Additionally an estimated 5,700 grill fires occur on residential properties each year in the United States. To avoid becoming a statistic:

  • Position the grill well away from siding, deck railing, and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
  • Keep children and pets from the grill area: declare a three-foot “safe zone” around the grill.
  • Put out several long-handled grilling tools to give the chef plenty of clearance from heat and flames when cooking.

In the event that you experience a minor burn, take the following action: Cool the burn. Hold the burned area under cool running water for 10 to 15 minutes or until the pain subsides. For serious burns call 911 and seek medical attention immediately.

Water Safety

Every year Americans look forward to summer swimming, rafting and boating. With backyard swimming pools, the American River and nearby Folsom Lake, Fair Oaks and Carmichael residents have a variety of water recreational options. Swimming is not only a great way to beat the summer heat but also great exercise. However to enjoy a fun and healthy swimming season requires water safety awareness.

Drowning is the number one cause of death in California for children under the age of five and the second leading cause nationally. More than half of these drownings occur in backyard pools and hot tubs. There is no warning such as screams or splashing and there is no substitute for constant supervision.

When rafting always remember that the river current is deceivingly strong and the water is cold. Furthermore alcohol and water don’t mix: 60% of all drowning on the river are alcohol related and 9 out of 10 drowning could be prevented by wearing a life vest.

The California Department of Boating and Waterways data shows that more boating accidents occur during the 4th of July holiday. Play it safe:

  • Avoid Alcohol
  • Operate your boat at a reasonable speed
  • Use water ski flags when skiers, are down

Firework safety

The 4th of July is an opportunity to celebrate our nation's independence. The members of the Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District support your use of safe and sane fireworks. However we have a zero tolerance for the use of illegal ones. Remember if it leaves the ground or explodes, it is illegal. You should only buy fireworks from an approved vendor and always look for the approval seal of the State Fire Marshal on every package.

Once again Metro Fire will team up with Sheriff deputies to cite or arrest anyone using, selling or in possession of illegal fireworks. Offenses can range from misdemeanor to felony charges and fines can be as high as $50,000 or up to a year in prison. If you are in possession of illegal fireworks we have an amnesty program where you can voluntarily surrender them without fear of prosecution at any one of our fire stations.

Safe and sane fireworks should only be used as intended and only under adult supervision. Do not light fireworks near a dry field. Keep a hose or a pail of water handy. Submerge used fireworks in water and avoid discarding them in a plastic garbage can near your home.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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