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First responders in Southern Nevada offer Fourth of July safety tips

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Posted at 1:16 PM, Jun 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-28 16:45:54-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — 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 the nation reopen after the COVID-19 pandemic, American Medical Response (AMR) Las Vegas and MedicWest say they want to remind residents of Las Vegas that safety is still of importance.

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"Fourth of July brings a lot of fun and enjoyment, from outdoor grilling and water activities to fireworks displays and celebratory parades,” said Damon Schilling, Government Affairs Manager for AMR Las Vegas. "No matter your family's plans, it is essential to make sure everyone stays safe during this year's festivities."

Fireworks Safety

Remember, in Las Vegas, only Safe-N-Sane fireworks are permitted during the 4th of July holiday. At all other times of the year, Safe-N-Sane fireworks are illegal as well as any other type of fireworks that flies through the air, explodes or rotates on the ground. If you plan on purchasing legal fireworks this year, remember:

  • Follow all instructions on the packaging
  • Keep a bucket of water or a hose nearby as a precaution
  • Wear eye protection
  • Never use fireworks while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Ignite only one firework at a time and never attempt to relight duds
  • Do not aim, throw or point fireworks at people, animals, vehicles, or structures
  • Never give children fireworks

Grilling Safety

  • 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

Heat Safety

  • 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.

Water Safety

  • 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

AMR Las Vegas and MedicWest say they are committed to the health and wellbeing of the communities they serve and caregivers promote safety and preparedness to save lives and prevent both injury and disability.

More holiday safety tips are also available here.