RANCHO SANTA FE — For many, the Fourth of July presents an opportunity to gather with loved ones to celebrate our nation’s independence with food, fun, and fireworks.
While this year’s holiday will be extra special as communities around San Diego reopen after the COVID-19 pandemic, the Rancho Santa Fe Fire Protection District and American Medical Response (AMR) want to remind residents that safety is still of importance.
“Every year firefighters and AMR paramedics respond to several firework-related fires, burns and eye injuries over the Fourth of July holiday,” said Fire Chief Fred Cox. “The 4th of July is a time to relax and enjoy with your family and friends, so please don’t risk injury or unintentionally starting a fire by setting off your own fireworks this year. It’s more dangerous than you think.”
“This holiday weekend is going to bring a lot of fun, from grilling outdoors and water activities to fireworks displays around the county,” added Madeleine Ghorashi, AMR Government and Public Affairs Manager. “No matter what activity you plan to do, it is essential to make sure everyone stays safe during this year’s festivities.”
- • Make sure to store perishable foods at the proper temperature until you are ready to begin cooking.
- • If using a cooler, make sure you pack plenty of ice or freezer packs.
- • Never leave a barbecue unattended while lit.
- • Select a location away from children, pets or flammable objects
- • Keep the grill clean by removing excess grease and residue
- • Keep a fire extinguisher close by
- • Use long-handled tongs and spatulas with heat-resistant handles
- • Exposure to excessive heat can quickly lead to dehydration. Remember to drink plenty of fluids, especially water, and avoid beverages with caffeine, sugar, or alcohol.
- • During the hottest hours of the day, stay indoors. If your home is not air-conditioned, look for nearby cooling shelters, or spend the day in a cool public space like a library, community center or local shopping mall.
- • Wear lightweight and light-colored clothing and don a hat and sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun’s rays. Apply sunscreen to exposed skin and be sure to reapply it every 2 hours.
- • Try to limit physical activities to the coolest parts of the day, like morning and evening hours. Make sure to take frequent breaks and stay hydrated.
- • Do not leave children, elderly persons, or pets in cars. In under three minutes, the interior temperature of your vehicle can soar from 78 to 100 degrees, putting children, the elderly, and pets in danger of hyperthermia or heat stroke. If you see a child, an older adult, or an animal left in a hot car, call 911 immediately.
- • Never swim alone
- • Only use approved flotation devices; do not rely on toys or inner tubes
- • Don’t take chances by overestimating your swimming skills
- • Swim only in designated swimming areas
- • Watch small children near water
- • Never dive into rivers or lakes; each year nearly 3,000 people are paralyzed as a result of diving into shallow water or hitting an unseen underwater obstruction
The Rancho Santa Fe Fire Protection District and AMR are committed to the health and wellbeing of the communities we serve. Our caregivers promote safety and preparedness to fight fires, save lives and prevent both injury and disability.
For more holiday safety tips, visit RedCross.org.