July marks the middle of summer when many Americans are outside basking in nice weather, grilling, swimming, and planning fun summer getaways. While 2020 has been far from normal due to the pandemic status, your Independence Day celebration can still be just as fun as years prior by making sure you prioritize safety wherever you go.

By putting safety first and foremost, you can put your mind at ease and enjoy your holiday. 

Using just a few of these forty Fourth of July safety tips listed below can ensure your holiday is your most fun – and safest – Independence Day celebration to date.

  1. Never try to make your own fireworks.
  2. In fact, if you don’t feel comfortable lighting fireworks, leave it to the professionals.
  3. Never allow young children to handle any type of pyrotechnic item.
  4. Keep pets at home and away from fireworks displays to make them as comfortable as possible.
  5. Drink responsibility.
  6. Never drink and drive: it is a crime to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, whether or not there is a car accident.
  7. Review all manuals before you operate a boat, ATV, or any other recreational vehicle.
  8. While you’re at it, review all applicable laws.
  9. If boating this summer, ensure there are ample life preservers, enough so that every passenger has one.
  10. Check water and weather conditions before taking a boat out.
  11. Never swim in a dock, marina, or near a boat while it’s running.
  12. Check the depth of water before jumping in (especially if diving).
  13. Liberally apply sunscreen 20 minutes before sun exposure.
  14. Reapply sunscreen every 2 hours and each time after getting out of the pool or sweating heavily.
  15. Double check the expiration date on your sunscreen; sunscreens can lose potency after a year or two.
  16. Drink ample amounts of water, especially if in extreme temperatures or in direct sunlight exposure.
  17. Prevent heat-related illnesses by taking frequent breaks and resting in the shade. 
  18. Keep a first aid kit near the pool. 
  19. Always keep eyes on young children in and around the pool to prevent a swimming pool accident.
  20. Check playgrounds for hazards before you allow your child to play.
  21. Ensure your child is wearing appropriate clothing before playing; children should not wear anything that could get caught on equipment and become a strangulation hazard.
  22. Keep children and pets at least three feet away from grills.
  23. Check gas grill hoses for cracks and leaks.
  24. Always make sure your gas grill lid is open before lighting it.
  25. Use propane and charcoal BBQ grills outdoors, never inside. 
  26.  Never add charcoal fluid or any other type of flammable liquids to the fire on a charcoal grill.
  27. Let coals from a charcoal grill cool completely before disposing.
  28. Never leave your grill unattended.
  29. Practice social distancing. COVID-19 is still a concern so it is best to follow The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) guidelines to reduce contraction and infection rates.
  30. If you plan on spending a lot of time outdoors, check your skin and clothes for ticks everyday.
  31. Learn the symptoms of tick-borne diseases.
  32. Use insect repellents that will provide protection for the duration of your time outdoors.
  33. Do not leave doors or windows propped open for long durations of time.
  34. Be alert while walking. Distracted walking can contribute to pedestrian accidents. 
  35. Inspect your bike prior to riding to ensure everything is secure and functioning properly.
  36. Wear a helmet.
  37. Familiarize yourself with biking hand signals.
  38. Never hitch onto cars or other vehicles. 
  39. Ride and walk during the day, if possible.
  40. Wear neon, fluorescent or other bright clothing if walking or biking at night.

Using just a couple of the forty Fourth of July safety tips listed above can make a significant improvement in your personal safety this summer. Whether you find yourself at the beach, on a road trip, or hiking in the wilderness, putting safety first can ensure you have the most comfortable summer possible in 2020.

Stay safe and enjoy your summer!