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Keep celebration safe

In a few short days, Americans will celebrate the 236th anniversary of their independence with parades, cookouts and traditional fireworks.
While the day is expected to be one of fun, it only takes one mishap to turn it into misfortune. To help avoid having your day end in disaster, the American Red Cross is offering these tips:
• Never give fireworks to small children and always follow the instructions on the packaging.
• Keep a supply of water close by as a precaution.
• 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 fireworks toward people, animals, vehicles, structures or flammable materials.
• Stay at least 500 feet away from professional fireworks displays.
• Leave any area immediately where untrained amateurs are using fireworks.
• Always watch the barbecue grill when in use.
• Never grill indoors — not in a house, camper, tent or any enclosed area.
• Make sure children and pets stay away from the grill.
• Keep the grill 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 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.
• Limit the amount of direct sunlight you receive between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
• Apply broad-spectrum sunscreen with a protection factor of at least 15 throughout the day.
• Drink plenty of water and avoid drinks with alcohol or caffeine in them.
• Wear sunglasses that will absorb UV sunlight to protect one’s eyes.
• Protect your feet by wearing some kind of beach shoes.
Following most, if not all, of these tips will help insure your Independence Day celebration does not end in the emergency room.