The 4th of July is one of the most highly anticipated celebrations of the summer, from the cookouts on the beach to the sparklers to the 4th of July parade that marches down Alvarado Street in Monterey each year. However, it can become extremely dangerous pretty quickly.
Given the road closures, drinks, and fireworks that we enjoy each year, the potential for harm is pretty high. According to the United States Department of Transportation, in 2015 over 200 people were killed in car and motorcycle accidents involving alcohol. On top of that, according to the National Fire Protection Agency, fireworks caused more than 15,000 fires in 2013, and a quarter of all the fires reported that year were reported on, you guessed it, the 4th of July. Surprisingly, the most common cause of fire-related injury is sparklers! In short, it is not uncommon to have serious consequences from being unsafe on the 4th of July. Including a few safety boundaries is a necessity for keeping your friends and family safe. Here are a few tips from the American Red Cross, End Distracted Driving, and suggestions from everyone at Robert’s Collision on how to enjoy your 4th of July safely:
Attending a community event is actually much safer than setting off fireworks at home. There are events in Monterey, Carmel-By-the-Sea, and PG if you are looking for a place to go on the 4th. If you do set off fireworks at home, there are a few extra precautions to take. Make sure you cover the basics of fire safety: never give fireworks to children who are too young, follow the packaging instructions, keep some water near by, and don’t throw fireworks at people, cars, animals, or buildings. Outside of that, it’s a good idea to keep some water nearby, and wear some kind of eye protection if you’re the one lighting the fireworks. Avoid lighting more than one at once, and never try to relight a ‘dud’. Trust us, that one smoke bomb that didn’t go off the first time? It’s not worth the $3.00 you paid for it to try and relight only to have it blow up in your face. In general, plan ahead, and set up the rules with the kids ahead of time to avoid any accidents.
BBQ’ing and grilling are practically traditions for the 4th of July at this point. Though Uncle Joe may be a seasoned cookout pro by now, there are a few things to keep in mind just to stay on the safe side. Keep the grill a good distance away from the house (that means definitely NOT inside) and any branches, chairs, or overhangs that could catch fire. Make sure someone always has an eye or two on the grill, and use the correct tools for cooking so no one gets their hands or arms burned. And of course, be extra careful when lighting a gas grill. If it’s charcoal, never pour charcoal lighting fluid if the coal are already hot. You definitely won't want to be there when the flames jump and there are lots of other ways to get the ‘perfect char’!
Headed to the beach this Tuesday? Awesome! Living in Monterey, we’re guessing you already know a thing or two about beach safety. Here are a few reminders; sunscreen, life jackets and supervision for new swimmers, watch the current, and leave the aquatic life be. Pretty easy! Also, please remember to respect the beach rules wherever you go: many prohibit alcohol altogether. For those that do allow it, that’s great! However, stay out of the ocean unless you’re sober. It will be much hard to fight the current when you don’t have your wits about you.
The sad reality is that Independence day is one of the most dangerous days to drive out of the entire year. Yikes! Much of this is due to drivers, in light of the celebration, neglecting what are usually considered standard safety measures while driving. You can reduce the likelihood that you’ll get in an accident by simply driving just as safe if not safer as you would any other day. Don’t let the excitement of the holiday take away from your attention behind the wheel. That means wear your seatbelt, don’t drink and drive, keep your eyes on the road, and don’t use distractions like texting, calls, or eating. Let the person riding shotgun change the song or program the GPS, while your eyes stay on the road. Before starting your trip, make sure your vehicle is in proper working order. If anything is out of place or dysfunctional, come to Robert’s Collision and Repair first so that you can be sure you’re driving safe. Overall, stay alert and stay smart.
Enjoy your holiday this 4th of July, and with a few extra safety tips and tricks, your 4th will surely be the highlight of the summer!