While many are thinking of fun at the beach or hitting the road for the Fourth of July, the American Red Cross and Florida Highway Patrol are thinking of your safety.
A spokesperson for the Red Cross said taking a few simple steps can help ensure an enjoyable holiday.
The Florida Highway Patrol will be out making sure travelers are safe on the road. Troopers will be looking to prevent traffic violations and crashes.
Drivers can always dial *FHP (347) on their cellphone if they have car trouble or need help. They can also report impaired, aggressive or dangerous drivers by calling that number.
- Check your tires regularly, especially before a long trip. Remember to check tire pressure, including the spare.
- You should inspect tires for uneven wear patterns on the tread, cracks, foreign objects or other signs of wear or trauma.
- Remove bits of glass and other foreign objects wedged in the tread and make sure your tire valves have valve caps.
- Check weather and water conditions before swimming and throughout the day
- Swim only at lifeguard-protected beaches within the designated area
- Obey all safety rules
- Avoid alcohol before and during any water activities
- Never swim alone
- Actively supervise children at all times
- Have weak swimmers wear a life jacket
- Always enter shallow water feet first
- If caught in a rip current, swim parallel to the shore until out of the current. Once free, turn and swim toward shore.
- If someone can't swim to the shore, they should shout for help, float or tread water until free of the rip current and then head toward shore.
- Stay at least 100 feet away from piers and jetties. Permanent rip currents often exist near these structures.
- Make sure wear sunscreen and limit the amount of direct sunlight received between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
- Drink plenty of water and avoid drinks with alcohol or caffeine.
- Protect your eyes by wearing UV-absorbing sunglasses and protect your feet with some kind of beach shoe.
- Never give fireworks to small children and always follow the instructions on the packaging.
- Keep a supply of water close by as a precaution.
- Make sure the person lighting fireworks always wears eye protection.
- Light only one firework at a time and never attempt to relight "a dud."
- Store fireworks in a cool, dry place away from children and pets.
- Never throw or point fireworks toward people, animals, vehicles, structures or flammable materials.
- Stay at least 500 feet away from professional fireworks displays.
- Leave any area immediately where untrained amateurs are using fireworks.
- Fireworks can be a stressful nightmare for dogs and cats. How to protect your pets and keep them calm during Fourth of July.
- Always watch the barbecue grill when in use.
- Never grill indoors – not in a house, camper, tent or any enclosed area.
- Make sure children and pets stay away from the grill.
- Keep the grill out in the open, away from the house, the deck, tree branches or anything that could catch fire.
- Use the long-handled tools especially made for cooking on the grill to keep the chef safe.
- Never add charcoal starter fluid when coals have already been ignited.
- Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using grills.