“We must be free not because we claim freedom, but because we practice it.” – William Faulkner
As you and your family and friends celebrate our nation’s 244th birthday, pause to give thanks for a country that still stands 244 years after our founding fathers penned those memorable words,
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal,
that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,
that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”
Following safety tips, will help ensure your entire family has a safe and memorable holiday.
Food Safety: BBQs and picnics are great fun, but don’t leave food sitting out for long periods. Foodborne pathogens abound in hot weather, so limit your party buffet tables to one hour. And during that hour, keep your hot foods, hot and your cold foods, cold. Provide insulated containers and warming trays for hot dishes. Set coolers in the shade and keep them packed with ice for the cold food.
Grill Safety: When grilling, start with a clean grate to avoid grease fires. Check the gas cylinder hose for leaks before lighting. If using charcoal, never add lighter to coals that are already kindled. Don’t leave grills unattended. If marinating meat, drain the marinade before grilling and use a fresh batch of marinade while grilling. Be mindful of hot grills and coals long after grilling is finished.
Water Safety: An afternoon on the water is fun for everyone. Keep it that way by paying attention to other boats, skiers, jet skis, etc. Just like the highway, alcohol and driving don’t mix – ensure the driver has refrained from alcohol before taking over his/her duties. Provide life jackets for everyone onboard – even the best of swimmers.
Sun Safety: Everyone loves a tan but take care – sunburns are painful, and a severe burn can have longtime consequences. Be especially cautious with children – they rarely realize they are burnt until it is painfully too late. Use a sunscreen (30 SPF or higher) before going out and reapply every 80 minutes– sooner if you are in the water or the temperatures soar. Be mindful of overheating. Heat strokes can lead to hospital stays and dangerous consequences. Take breaks to cool down and stay hydrated. Wear sunglasses, hats, and take breaks in the shade.
Fireworks Safety: Fireworks and sparklers add fun to the celebration, but too many accidents happen each year. A video gone viral is not worth the consequence of a firework gone out-of-control. Seek a wide-open space – away from power lines, autos, homes, playgrounds, etc. Light fireworks with care, one at a time, on the ground, and in fire-resistant areas. Stand back at a safe distance. Don’t attempt to relight a dud. Never disassemble or try to make your fireworks. Don’t point sparklers, or fireworks at yourself or others. Never allow young children to handle fireworks or sparklers. Keep a fire extinguisher handy.
Travel Safety: Take extra care on the roads. July 4th is one of our nation’s deadliest holidays on the road. Ensure your vehicle is maintained and ready for travel. Don’t let the gas get below a quarter of a tank. Take water and snack if driving a distance – lengthy traffic jams can happen.
Happy July 4th from the team at Rentals America! Celebrate, enjoy the fun, and stay safe!