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Have a fun (and safe) 4th

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Mark DannehlFourth of July celebrations will be starting this weekend and going on through the holiday. It's one many people look forward to and often the highlight of the summer.

Whatever fun stuff you have planned, we want you to be safe. Here are a few common sense tips from the American Red Cross to help make your celebration a great one to remember.

Fireworks

The best choice is to leave the fireworks to the professionals. However, if you really want to set off your own fireworks at home, be sure to follow these safety steps:

  • Never give fireworks to small children.
  • Keep a supply of water close by as a precaution.
  • Always wear eye protection when lighting fireworks.
  • Light only one firework at a time and never attempt to relight "a dud."
  • Never throw or point a firework toward people, animals, vehicles, structures, or flammable materials.

Grilling

Don't get burnt stoking up the barbeque:

  • Always supervise a barbecue grill when in use.
  • Keep the grill out in the open, away from the house, the deck, tree branches, or anything that could catch fire.
  • Use the long-handled tools especially made for cooking on the grill.
  • It's tempting to accelerate the heat, but never add charcoal starter fluid when coals have already been ignited.

Beach safety

Around Wisconsin, we have so many lakes to enjoy...always stay vigilant around the water:

  • Keep alert for local weather conditions.
  • Swim sober and always with a buddy.
  • Have young children and inexperienced swimmers wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket. Keep a close eye and constant attention on children as well as adults.
  • Don’t dive in the water headfirst and risk breaking your neck.
  • Lather on the sunscreen.
  • Stay hydrated...and remember, alcoholic beverages actually cause dehydration, so drink plenty of water along with your adult beverage.
  • During hot weather, watch for signs of heat stroke—hot, red skin; changes in consciousness; rapid, weak pulse; rapid, shallow breathing. If you think someone is suffering from heat stroke, call 9-1-1 and move the person to a cooler place.
  • Know the signs of drowning! They probably aren't what you expect. See INVESTIGATORS: Drowning is silent (video/story).

Mark Dannehl, Personal Insurance Consultant