The 4th of July is upon us which means time with family, cookouts, fireworks, picnics, parades and travel.

As we celebrate the birth of American Independence, Vision hopes you keep safety top of mind.

Fireworks

Consumer fireworks are a ton of fun and very popular for families to enjoy. They can also be very dangerous if not used properly or by unsupervised children or teenagers.  Accidents can be avoided by following these common sense safety tips:

•    Parents and caretakers should always closely supervise teens if they are using fireworks.
•    Parents should not allow young children to handle fireworks.
•    Alcohol and fireworks do not mix. Save your alcohol for after the show.
•    Do not hold a firework in your hand unless specifically stated in the caution label.
•    Fireworks should only be used outdoors.
•    Always have water ready, both in a bucket and in a charged hose, if you are using fireworks.
•    Have a Designated Shooter for the fireworks and make sure he/she reads the caution label before igniting.
•    Obey local laws. If fireworks are not legal where you live, do not use them.
•    Wear eye protection (safety glasses) whenever using fireworks.
•    Only light one firework at a time.
•    Never relight a “dud” firework. Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.
•    Used fireworks should be soaked with water and placed in a nonflammable trash can outside; several feet away from a house, garage, deck area or anything else flammable.
•    Do not use homemade fireworks, professional fireworks or illegal explosives; they can kill you!
•    Report illegal explosives, like M-80s and quarter sticks, to the Police or Fire Department.

And let’s not forget the safety of our pets!

  • Don’t bring your pets to a fireworks display, even a small one.
  • If fireworks are being used near your home, put your pet in a safe, interior room to avoid exposure to the sound.
  • Make sure your pet has an identification tag, in case it runs off during a fireworks display.
  • Never shoot fireworks of any kind (consumer fireworks, sparklers, fountains, etc.) near pets.

You can visit the National Council on Fireworks Safety website for a complete list of safety tips and videos at www.FireworksSafety.org

Drinking and Driving

Celebrations and cookouts often include cold beer and fruity cocktails. Alabama and other Law Enforcement Agencies have placed emphasis on buzzed driving this summer.  The NHTSA reports that alcohol leads to nearly half of all deadly crashes on the 4th of July. During the 2015 Fourth of July Holiday, 146 people were killed in drunk driving crashes. Nearly two-thirds of those killed were in crashes where at least one driver had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .15 or higher – almost twice the legal limit.

If you plan on attending a celebration where there is alcohol, make a plan to get home without drinking and driving. If you are planning the party, help your guests plan for a sober ride home. Remember: Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving.

Whether you plan to celebrate at home or at local area festivities, the Vision team hopes you stay safe while having fun!