Be safe on the Fourth

Published 6:29 pm Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Planning for the Fourth of July weekend starts the holiday mood that involves grilling out for the Saturday meal, getting the fireworks in order and taking a long drive to the family reunion.

In that list, plan to be safe.

While safety officials predict 400 people will die in vehicle accidents this weekend, the dangers of cooking out and handling fireworks also are a threat.

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Alcohol is the biggest factor in most auto accidents, so don’t drink and drive, especially during the holiday weekend. If you do drink, take a designated driver.

Don’t let the plans you made make you hurry. Spending time by driving slower is better than hurrying to the hospital after an accident.

When cooking out, what you don’t see may hurt. Make sure the food is fresh or preserved to avoid bacterial growth.

Grills burn food. Don’t let them burn people or bushes. Keep the fire away from flammable objects, and keep children away from the fire.

Grills can burn at more than 800 degrees, so be careful with lighter fluid. And wash your hands after starting the fire to avoid any residual fumes.

When you get to Saturday night’s fireworks display, locate the closest emergency personnel so you will know where to go if something goes wrong.

Leave pets at home. Loud noises will spook animals, and keeping up with Rover will keep you from having a good time.

Like other outdoors activities, don’t forget the bug spray. The only thing that should be biting this weekend is you with al hot dog.

With a little planning, the entire weekend can be a safe success.