4th of July Safety

Summertime is finally here. With the celebration of Independence Day just around the corner, here are some tips to stay safe this holiday weekend.

Make sure that fireworks are legal in your area and that there are no fire restrictions before buying or using them. Fireworks are prohibited on all forested, state, and federal land in Montana. Check with your local fire department or city officials to learn about any city restrictions. Check here for information on current fire restrictions in Montana.Fireworks

Here are some tips from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to help make sure that you and your family stay safe this Fourth of July:

  • Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks
  • Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper because this is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and that they could pose a danger to consumers.
  • Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities. Parents don’t realize that young children suffer injuries from sparklers. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees- hot enough to melt some metals.
  • Never place any part of the body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.
  • Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.
  • Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
  • Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose hand in case of fire or other mishap.
  • Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
  • After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding to prevent a trash fire.

And what 4th of July would be complete without an outdoor barbeque?  Follow these suggestions from the FDA to avoid foodborne illness.

  • Don’t let food sit outside for more than 1-2 hours, depending on the temperature.
  • Dishes like chicken salad should be placed on pans of ice.
  • Cook and grill meat thoroughly.  Usually between 145oF -165oF.
  • Keep refrigerated foods at 40oF to prevent bacterial growth.
  • If in doubt, throw it out!  That last brat may still look delicious at the end of the day, but you’re better off without it.hot dogs
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