Happy 4th of July

4th of July Safety

Ready for your Fourth of July celebrations? The backyard barbecue, time at the beach and even some fireworks? Whatever you choose, All of us at Ed Cantu Insurance Agency want you and your family to enjoy your holiday so please remember these steps to help keep you safe. Whether your 4th of July weekend involves fireworks, grilling or going to the beach, there are safety tips you should follow.

FIREWORKS SAFETY- The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public fireworks show put on by professionals. Stay at least 500 feet away from the show.

Remember that Corpus Christi and most local cities outlaw the use of personal fireworks. If you choose to use them anyway, be prepared to pay a fine and please follow these safety steps:

* Never give fireworks to small children and always follow the instructions on the packaging.
* Keep a supply of water close by as a precaution to put out a fire.
* Make sure the person lighting fireworks always wears eye protection.
* Light only one firework at a time and never attempt to relight “a dud.”
* Store fireworks in a cool, dry place away from children and pets.
* Never throw or point a firework toward people, animals, vehicles, structures or flammable materials.
* Leave any area immediately where untrained amateurs are using fireworks.

GRILLING and outdoor cooking SAFETY- Many folks are injured while using backyard charcoal or gas grills so please follow these steps to safely cook your backyard grilling or barbecue:

* Always supervise a grill or barbeque pit when in use.
* Never grill indoors – not in your house, camper, tent, or any enclosed area.
* Make sure everyone, including the pets, stays away from the grill or pit.
* Keep the grill or pit 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 or pit to keep the chef safe.
* Never add charcoal starter fluid when coals have already been ignited.
* Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using grills or pits.

BEACH SAFETY- If your visit to the beach includes swimming in the Gulf or Bay, you should learn how to swim in the surf and swim at a life-guarded beach when possible, within the designated swimming area. Obey all instructions and orders from lifeguards. Other safety tips include:

* Keep alert for local weather conditions. Check to see if any warning signs or flags are posted.
* Swim sober and always swim with a buddy.
* Have young children and inexperienced swimmers wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket.
* Protect your neck – don’t dive headfirst. Walk carefully into open waters.
* Keep a close eye and constant attention on children and adults while at the beach. Wave action can cause you or someone to lose their footing, even in shallow water.
* Watch out for aquatic life. Water plants and animals may be dangerous. Avoid patches of plants and leave fish and animals alone.
* RIP CURRENTS Rip currents are responsible for deaths on our beaches every year, and for most of the rescues performed by lifeguards. Any beach with breaking waves may have rip currents. Be aware of the danger of rip currents and remember the following this:
If you or someone is caught in a rip current, swim parallel to the shore until out of the current. Once free, you should turn and swim toward shore. If you can’t swim to the shore, you should float or tread water until free of the rip current and then head toward shore.
Stay at least 100 feet away from piers and jetties. Permanent rip currents often exist near these structures.
* Additional water safety tips are available at redcross.org/watersafetytips

SUN PROTECTION- Don’t let a steady breeze or a cloudy sky fool you. It’s going to be HOT so be sure to:

* Limit your exposure to direct sunlight between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. and wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a protection factor of at least 15 and reapply your sunscreen often.
* Remember to drink plenty of water regularly, even if not thirsty. Avoid drinks with alcohol or caffeine in them.
* Protect your eyes by wearing sunglasses that will absorb 100 percent of UV sunlight.
* Protect your feet – the sand can burn them, and glass and other sharp objects can cut them.
* Watch for signs of heat stroke—hot, red skin; changes in consciousness; rapid, weak pulse; rapid, shallow breathing. If it’s suspected someone is suffering from heat stroke: Call 9-1-1 and move the person to a cooler place. Quickly cool the body by applying cool, wet cloths or towels to the skin (or misting it with water) and fanning the person. Watch for signs of breathing problems and make sure the airway is clear. Keep the person lying down.

DOWNLOAD a FIRST AID APP… You can download the free Red Cross first aid app which puts expert advice for everyday emergencies at someone’s fingertips. The app is available for direct download from the Apple or Google Play for Android app stores.

My team and I hope you and your family have a fun, safe 4th of July weekend and a fantastic summer so please follow these tips to ensure your well being.

Because We Care!

Ed Cantu