Independence Day has a lot to offer in Western Pennsylvania - from fireworks displays to cookouts to family road trips, this summer holiday is a family favorite for a reason. However, it's also a holiday that comes with its fair share of risks. In 2014 alone, an estimated 10,500 firework injuries in emergency rooms across the country. And that's just one activity!
At Dugan & Associates, we see the impact injuries have on people and their families every single day. That's why we think it's so important to take precautions when it comes to your safety and that of your loved ones. So, before you start celebrating this Independence Day, keep these tips in mind:
Road Trip Safety
Nearly 42 million people took a road trip for the Fourth of July in 2015, and with that many folks on the road, it's worth taking a few extra precautions to stay safe. Before you take your trip, make sure you've done routine maintenance and that your car is in good working order. While it can be all too easy to skip an oil change or tire rotation, now isn't the time!
Make sure your car is stocked with important emergency items, such as a cell phone charger and a flashlight. If you're in an accident or your car breaks down, having these items can help you stay safe and get help.
During the month surrounding the Fourth of July, 230 people go to the emergency room with fireworks-related injuries every day. And nearly half of all injuries are to children under the age of 20. While fireworks can be beautiful, they can also be dangerous when not used properly.
You can help prevent firework injuries by taking some simple steps to ensure that they're being used safely. First of all, children should always be supervised by an adult when using fireworks - even sparklers can cause serious burn damage if used improperly. Kids might even enjoy bubbles or glow sticks as an alternative to fireworks. When lighting fireworks, keep a bucket of water on hand for both used sparkler sticks and other fireworks. If a firework doesn't light the first time, wait several minutes, and then put it into a bucket of water - never try to relight a firework that doesn't work.
16,000 people went to the emergency room in 2014 due to grilling-related injuries, most of them burns. On average, grilling leads to 8,900 house fires a year. Grilling may be delicious, but it can cause very serious injuries if not done carefully!
Fortunately, there are easy things you can do to make grilling safer. Before you light up the grill, make sure you look for leaks or breaks, if your grill uses propane. You should also make sure you're cleaning your grill regularly - failure to properly clean the grill is what causes about one-fifth of all grill fires. (And don't let the news of wire grill brushes causing injury stop you - there are alternative methods of cleaning your grill that can help you stay safe.)
Stay Safe This Summer
We hope you stay safe this summer by following these tips - but we know that life doesn't always work as planned. If you get into an accident or are injured this summer, give us a call for a free consultation to see if we might be able to help.
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