4th of July safety

GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- Ah, the 4th of July: in my humble patriotic opinion, the best of all the holidays. Good weather and greasy barbeque make for an enjoyable weekend. It isn't always that great though. Especially not for the approximately 9,000 people who receive injuries from fireworks every year. Or the insurance companies who pay an average of more than $18 million in property damages from fires every year. Or even the occasional spike in mishap rates for some people around this time. Why am I telling you this? I want you to pay attention to the safety aspect of this 4th of July holiday.

The following are a few of these simple safety tips that may very well help you prevent some unwanted injuries or costly property damages: 

- Use extreme caution when handling fireworks and read the warning labels
- Observe local laws on the use of fireworks
- Keep a bucket of water or fire extinguisher handy in case of a malfunction or fire
- Store fireworks in a dry, cool place
- Don't experiment with homemade fireworks
- If at the lake, be cautious of where you are swimming
- Never dive into unfamiliar water, and always know the depth before you dive.
- Complete an AETC Form 410 if participating in water sports or any kind of high-risk activity as determined by wing safety or your commander
- When cooking out, keep cold foods cold, and hot foods hot at all times - Never reuse marinades that have come in contact with raw meat
- Use caution when lighting and using propane or charcoal grills
- There will be a lot of people on the roads for the holidays. Keep your cool and drive defensively
- Plan you trip, whether driving out of town or going somewhere locally
- Be well rested if driving long distances
- Inspect your vehicle to include tire pressure and fluids