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Independence Day 2011
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Safety is key to a safe Fourth of July

Posted 6/23/2011   Updated 6/23/2011 Email story   Print story

    


by Will Harding
17th Training Wing Safety Office


6/23/2011 - GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- The Fourth of July in my humble patriotic opinion is the best of all the holidays. Good weather, barbeque, and something cold to drink make for an enjoyable weekend. It isn't always that great for everyone though. Especially for the 10,300 people who receive injuries from fireworks or for the insurance companies who often pay almost $26 million in property damages each year. Why am I telling you this? I want you to pay attention to safety over this Fourth of July weekend. Following a few of these simple safety tips may very well help you prevent some unwanted injuries or costly property damages:

Fireworks
- Our recommended safest option is to leave the fireworks to the professionals
- Use extreme caution when handling fireworks and read the warning labels
- Observe local laws on the use of fireworks (Tom Green County has a fireworks ban in force, which may put a damper on the festivities)
- 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

Swimming
- If at the lake swimming, be sure to swim with others
- Swim in known safe areas and never dive into water when you don't know the depth or hazards below
- Know your physical abilities and limitations
- Don't mix alcohol and swimming

Boating
- Take a boating safety course before operating any kind of water craft
- Know state laws and check equipment before boating
- 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

Driving
- There will be a lot of people on the roads over the weekend; please 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 fluids and tire pressure
- Don't drink and drive, call someone if you need a ride; there is no excuse for DUI
- Look out for motorcyclists and pedestrians

Grilling
- 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
- Clean preparation is essential, wash hands and work areas
- Use caution when lighting and using propane or charcoal grills



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