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Originally published: 2013-06-26 12:57:18
Last modified: 2013-06-26 13:00:22

Fire department urges summer safety

by Staff Reports

The Boone Fire Department is urging the community to practice safety this Fourth of July to prevent injuries and fires as residents celebrate with family and friends.


In 2011, fireworks caused an estimated 17,800 fires resulting in an estimated eight civilian deaths, 40 injuries and $32 million in direct property damage, according to the fire department. Also in 2011, emergency rooms in the U.S. treated an estimated 9,600 people for firework-related injuries, with the risk for injury being highest for children ages 5 to 19 and adults 25 to 29.

The best way to protect your family is not to use any fireworks at home and instead attend a display conducted by professionals, according to the department. If you choose to use fireworks, never use commercial fireworks and only use legal fireworks with the manufacturer name and instruction on a label.

Also remember:

-- Never let children ignite fireworks or play with fireworks without adult supervision
-- Never point or throw fireworks at another person
-- Never place any body part over a lit firework device
-- Never hold a lit firework in your hand
-- Never try to reignite a dud

After the fireworks complete their burning, douse them in water to completely cool them. Do not allow children to clean up firework debris.

Water safety

Warm weather and swimming go hand-in-hand, but it is always important to know how to stay safe while you are in the water. Children should be supervised by an adult at all times when in or near any water. If you cannot find a child, search the water first, according to the department.

If you have a pool or body of water at your house, use barrier devices to prevent young children from wandering into the water. Avoid drains or pipes in swimming pools.

If you are swimming in a creek or pond, make sure you know the area and the hazards under the water before you jump in. Natural bodies of water can have many unseen dangers, strong currents and cold water that can be dangerous.

Make sure that you and your family members know how to swim before entering a pool or pond. You should also have a safety floatation device with you at all times. Several places in town offer lessons for people of all ages, according to the department.

Also, know how to respond to a water emergency. There are water safety classes offered by the Red Cross, as well as basic first aid and CPR.

Grilling out

Hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken and steaks -- all food that is delicious when cooked on a grill. Grilling outside is another staple of the summertime and the Fourth of July in particular. But whether you are using propane or charcoal, there are some hazards to be aware of.

When cooking with a propane grill:

-- Make sure the connection to the propane tank is tight before turning the tank on
-- Always use a grill outside and at least 10 feet away from your house or any building
-- If the flame goes out turn off the propane
-- Keep children away from grills  

When cooking with charcoal, some of the same things apply:

-- Always cook outside in fresh air
-- Allow the grill to cool completely before moving or disposing of charcoal.