Fireworks and Barbeques: Safety Topics - July 2018 - Week 1


Monday - Fireworks

With Independence Day just around the corner, we are all looking forward to our backyard barbeques and annual firework shows. Everyone enjoys a great celebration of lights and festivities so it’s easy to forget that fireworks actually are explosives. Here are 10 safety tips to remember about fireworks:

  1. Young children should never play with fireworks.
  2. Fireworks that are wrapped in brown paper are usually professional grade and should never be used without experience.
  3. Adults should always supervise children with sparklers. A sparkler can burn up to 2,000 °F which can melt certain metals.
  4. Always make sure to leave a good amount of distance between yourself and the firework you are lighting. Being too close puts you in the line of fire and at a possibility for injury.
  5. When a firework has faulted do NOT try to relight it - dispose of it properly.
  6. Never throw a firework at another person or aim it at someone.
  7. Always make sure to have a good source of water to extinguish if something should catch on fire.
  8. Always light one firework at a time.
  9. Never carry a firework in your pocket or light a firework fuse in a confined container.
  10. Once the firework has been set off pick up the remains and soak them with water before disposing them in the garbage. This way there is no chance for reigniting the flame, causing it to burn.

Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before using them.

Tuesday – Firework Injuries

The most common body parts that are injured in firework accidents are:

  1. Hands and Fingers (33%)
  2. Head, Face, and Ears (28%)
  3. Legs (18%)
  4. Trunks and Other (12%)
  5. Eyes (9%)
  6. Arms (8%)

Burns make up 69% of firework related injuries and more than 250 people go to the hospital due to firework injuries per day between July 1 and July 4.

Wednesday - Summer Food Safety Tips

The risk of food poisoning increases during the summer because harmful bacteria grow quickly in warm, moist conditions. Making sure our food is safe for consumption can be challenging with outdoor cook outs, picnics, barbeques, and camping trips.

Here are some tips to keep your family and friends safe from food poisoning:

  • Chill – Don’t keep food at room temperature for more than an hour on hot summer days. Food that is normally kept in a refrigerator has the potential to cause food poisoning and should be kept in a cooler with ice packs. Keep the cooler out of direct sunlight and avoid opening the lid very often. Allow meat to marinate in the fridge or the cooler not out on the counter. And if you are using marinade as a dipping sauce, make sure it has not been previously contaminated by other meat.
  • Separate – Keep raw meat, poultry, and seafood separate from other foods to avoid spreading harmful bacteria. Keep these foods at the bottom of the cooler and in sealed containers so there is no chance for cross contamination.
  • Clean – Wash your hands and make sure your utensils, work surfaces, and equipment are clean.
  • Cook – Always use a clean plate when taking meat off the grill. Use a food thermometer to check temperature. Most meat should be cooked over 165 °F inside.
  • Leftovers- Cool food quickly in shallow containers and don’t let food sit out on the counter for more than an hour.

Thursday - Grilling Safety Tips

There’s nothing like perfectly grilled steak, ribs, burgers, brats… you get the idea. Whether you’re using charcoal, gas, or electricity, you need to remember it’s an open flame and should be prepared for.

  • Grill Placement – Never use your grill indoors, in a garage, or under an awning or canopy that can catch fire. Place your grill at least 10 feet from any structure or building. Keep a spray bottle nearby at all times to help extinguish fires.
  • Charcoal Grill Safety - Make sure your charcoal grill is in an open space. These grills produce poisonous carbon monoxide gas when they burn and that can build up in closed areas. Never use a flammable liquid or lighter fluid to start the fire. Instead, add more charcoal or kindling to start the fire as this will help prevent flash fire. Let the charcoals cool after grilling and soak them in water. Dispose or store coals in a metal container so there is no chance of reigniting.
  • Gas Grill Safety- Before using this type of grill, check all hoses for cracking, blockages, or a gas leak. Never store other gases or flammable products near the grill. Remember: never start this grill with a closed lid – gas can build up and explode.
  • Maintenance and Personal Safety- Always check a grill for cleanliness. Make sure no animals or bugs have crawled inside. Don’t let fat and grease build up as this can cause a fire that’s hard to extinguish. Use long utensils to keep your hands far away from the heat and flames and wear fire resistant mitts. Avoid wearing long sleeves or baggy clothes that could potentially catch on fire.

Friday - Free Speech Friday

Share your stories of how you keep your family safe around fireworks and grills. What festivities do you annually take part in that have safety risks and what do you do to protect yourself and others around you?

Have a fantastic long weekend of celebrating and please be safe! Let’s make happy memories this week!

Tags: safety topics , personal home safety , environment ,

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