Firework Safety Tips

With Independence Day approaching, comes celebrations that will include fireworks. Despite the dangers of fireworks, few people understand the associated risks – devastating burns, other injuries, fires, and even death.

  • Obey all local laws regarding the use of fireworks.
  • Know your fireworks; read the cautionary labels and performance descriptions before igniting.
  • A responsible adult SHOULD supervise all firework activities.  Never give fireworks to children.
  • Alcohol and fireworks do not mix.  Save your alcohol for after the show.
  • Wear safety glasses when shooting fireworks.
  • Light one firework at a time and then quickly move away.
  • Use fireworks OUTDOORS in a clear area; away from buildings and vehicles.
  • Never relight a “dud” firework.  Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.
  • Always have a bucket of water and charged water hose nearby.
  • Never carry fireworks in your POCKET or shoot them into METAL or GLASS containers.
  • Do not experiment with homemade fireworks.
  • Dispose of spent fireworks by wetting them down and place in a metal trash can away from any building or combustible materials until the next day.
  • FAA regulations PROHIBIT the possession and transportation of fireworks in your checked baggage or carry-on luggage.
  • Report illegal explosives, like M-80s and quarter sticks, to the fire or police department.

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Memorial Day Travel Tips

Are you one of the millions of people who will hit the road over the long Memorial Day weekend?  With more people on the roads, it’s important to drive safely. Be well rested and alert, use your seat belts, observe speed limits and follow the rules of the road. If you plan on drinking alcohol, designate a driver who won’t drink.

Other tips for a safe trip include:

1. Give your full attention to the road. Avoid distractions such as cell phones.

2. Use caution in work zones. There are lots of construction projects underway on the highways.

3. Don’t follow other vehicles too closely.

4. Make frequent stops.

5. Clean your vehicle’s lights and windows to help you see, especially at night.

6. Turn your headlights on as dusk approaches, or during inclement weather.

7. Don’t overdrive your headlights.

8. Don’t let your vehicle’s gas tank get too low. If you have car trouble, pull as far as possible off the highway.

9. Carry a Disaster Supplies Kit in your trunk.

10. Let someone know where you are going, your route and when you expect to get there. If your car gets stuck along the way, help can be sent along your predetermined route.

Having a fun weekend starts with having a safe one. There will be a lot of drivers carelessly making bad decisions all in an attempt to get to their destination quicker, but arriving safely only means arriving a couple of minutes later.

Christmas Tree Fire Safety Tips

Your beautifully decorated Christmas tree can also be a deadly fire hazard. Christmas tree fires are infrequent, but when they do occur, they are serious, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Fire departments responded to an average of 230 home fires caused by Christmas trees each year from 2007-2011. The result was a yearly average of six deaths, 22 injuries and $18.3 million in property damage, the NFPA reported.

Here is a list of holiday fire safety tips from NFPA and FEMA’s U.S. Fire Administration:

  1. When choosing a tree, look for one that is fresh and has green needles that don’t fall out. Brownish needles mean the tree is dried out and more prone to catch fire.
  2. Water your tree daily to prevent it from drying out.
  3. Check the manufacturer’s labels to ensure you use only lights and decorations that are flame-retardant. Look for a nationally recognized testing laboratory, such asUnderwriters Laboratories, Intertek or the Canadian Standards Association, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
  4. Check holiday lights for frayed wires or excessive wear.
  5. Don’t connect more than three strands of mini-string sets and a maximum of 50 bulbs for screw-in bulbs.
  6. Keep your tree at least 3 feet away from any heat source, such as a fireplace, radiator, candles or lights.
  7. Make sure your tree is not blocking an exit. In case there is a fire, you want a way to get out.
  8. Always turn off lights on a tree before going to bed or leaving your home.
  9. Get rid of a tree when its needles start dropping. It means the tree is drying out.
  10. Check that your smoke alarm is working properly.