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Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany

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Safety paramount concern on Independence Day;

By E. V. HART | | June 26, 2003

As July 4th approaches, you are probably thinking about sitting out on the lawn with family and neighbors, eating snacks and watching beautiful fireworks bursting in the night sky.

July 4th celebration can be a lot of fun. However, cookouts and fireworks, often the centerpiece of July 4th celebration, can actually be very dangerous.

Nationally, nearly 9,000 Americans are injured each year by fireworks and outdoor cooking fires. More than half of these injuries occur during the first week of July; between 70-75 percent occur during a 30-day period that surrounds the July fourth holiday.

Every hostile fire related incidence requires a heat source, an initial fuel source and something to bring them together. That something nearly always has a human component, usually an immediate act or omission of safety practices or behaviors.

When Cooking Outdoors Remember

* Before lighting your grill, remove all flammable liquids from your cooking area and avoid the possibility of an explosion they can cause.

* Never use gasoline on or near a fire and never use liquid fire starter to freshen a fire. Liquid starters can cause disastrous flash fires.   

* Grills are better utilized outside, in well ventilated areas, never use inside.

*When using a propane grill, always have your match lit and in position before turning on the gas.

*After cooking, soak the coals in water. Coals that seem to be out can re-ignite up to one day later.

Fireworks Are Risky Business

* Before using fireworks, make sure they are permitted in your state or local area. Many states and local government prohibit or limit the use of consumer fireworks, formerly known as class C fireworks, which are the common fireworks and firecrackers sold for consumer use.

* Consumer fireworks include shells and mortars, multiple tube devices, roman candles, rockets, sparklers, firecrackers, and novelty items such as snakes and airplanes.

If fireworks are legal and you decide to set them off on your own , remember.

Read and follow all warning and instructions.

Never allow children to play with or ignite fireworks.

Never attempt to make your own.

Avoid sparklers. They can potentially catch clothes on fire.

Never attempt to re-light fireworks that have not fully functioned.

Keep a water source available in case of a malfunction or a fire.

Keep yourself and children away from other people who are using sparklers or lighting their own fireworks, Bystanders are more frequently injured by fireworks than the people who use them.

Remember, the safest way to display fireworks is to let a professional do it.

The Fire Chief and entire Fire Department staff wish you a safe and enjoyable Independence Day Celebration.