Keeping the spirit alive this 4th of July with safety!

By Sam DiGiovanna

With Covid-19 forcing cancellation of large-scale events, many of the nation’s as well as local city public fireworks displays and 4th of July parades have been cancelled.

Unfortunately, this will increase the use of more dangerous and deadly illegal fireworks as well as the “safe and sane” fireworks that many community organizations will be supporting and selling. Remember, though safe and sane, a simple sparkler can put out 1,200 degrees!

We usually tell the public “leave it to the professionals” and attend a public show. This will not be the case this year, as most have been cancelled. The shows that will continue on will have more than normal attendance. Are you and your agency prepared?

Late season rains have promoted light grassy fuel growth in hillsides and residential neighborhood vacant land and lots. We have already seen an abnormal increase in brush and grass fires this year. With no precipitation in the forecast, each day the fuels dry out and become ripe for a small spark to ignite them.

We need to get the word out now with safety tips and messages along with alternative celebration activities. This will likely be one of most dangerous 4th of July’s as well as the days preceding and after since 4th of July falls on a Saturday. This will mean firework stands will open Wednesday the 1st of July and the celebration will continue through the weekend.

There are plenty of fun things to do, but keeping safety in mind is a priority! Here are some additional 4th of July Safety Tips:

Travel safety

  • Buckle up, slow down, and do not drive impaired.
  • Be well rested, alert and patient; give your full attention to the road. Do not text and drive!
  • Let someone know your destination, your route, and when you expect to arrive.

Water safety

Paddle Board? Jet Ski? Surfing? It is all harmless fun, right? Fun, certainly, but think before you play. Whatever the activity, observe these important rules:

  • Wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket.
  • Know local weather conditions. Make sure the water and weather conditions are safe. Let others know when you hit the water and when you plan to return!
  • Swimming pools. Learn to swim. Do not swim alone or leave children unattended! Let someone know where and what time you are leaving and intend on returning!

Barbeque safety

This fun seasonal ritual has a flip side, though—namely, an onset of injuries and home fires due to careless cooking practices. Here are some tips you can follow to stay safe while enjoying those tasty treats at your cookout.

  • Never grill indoors or unattended – not in your house, camper, tent, or any enclosed area.
  • Keep the grill out in the open, away from the house, the deck, tree branches, or anything that could catch fire. Hot grease or ashes could spill from the grill onto the wooden deck or into dry leaves or grass

Hiking safety

  • Watch out for rattlesnakes
  • Let others know your destination and time of departing and returning
  • Bring fluids (water) and stay hydrated
  • Wear appropriate clothing
  • Wear sunscreen

Here are 14 alternative ways to entertain children safely this 4th of July: https://lnkd.in/gf4uwZy

We need to get the word out to our communities now, so they can enjoy a Happy and Safe 4th of July!

The most important thing is to practice is common sense…

Sam DiGiovanna is a 35-year fire service veteran. He started with the Los Angeles County Fire Department, served as Fire Chief at the Monrovia Fire Department and currently serves as Chief at the Verdugo Fire Academy in Glendale. He also is VP of Fire Operations for www.Cordico.com.