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Summer Safety Tips
Safety tips for an enjoyable summer
Every year Americans look forward to summer vacations, camping, family reunions, picnics and the Fourth of July.  Summertime, however, also brings fires and injuries due to fireworks and outdoor cooking.  Knowing a few fire safety tips and following instructions will help everyone have a safe summer.

Fireworks Safety
The best way to protect your family is not to use fireworks at home - period. The U.S. Fire Administration recommends attending public fireworks displays and leaving the lighting to the professionals.

A special study by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) shows that fireworks were involved in an estimated 9,600 injuries treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments in 2011. Fireworks are dangerous! For more information and safety tips, please visit the Consumer Protection Safety Commission (CPSC's website).

Grill Safety
  • Before using a grill, check the connection between the propane tank and the fuel line. Make sure the venturi tubes - where the air and gas mix - are not blocked.
  • Do not overfill the propane tank.
  • Do not wear loose clothing while cooking at a barbecue.
  • Be careful when using lighter fluid. Do not add fluid to an already lit fire because the flame can flashback up into the container and explode.
  • Keep all matches and lighters away from children. Teach your children to report any loose matches or lighters to an adult immediately. Supervise children around outdoor grills.
  • Dispose of hot coals properly - douse them with plenty of water, and stir them to ensure that the fire is out. Never place them in plastic, paper or wooden containers.
  • Never grill/barbecue in enclosed areas - carbon monoxide could be produced.
  • Make sure everyone knows to Stop, Drop and Roll in case a piece of clothing does catch fire. Call 911 or your local emergency number if a burn warrants serious medical attention.

  • Campfires
  • Build campfires where they will not spread, away from dry grass and leaves.
  • Keep campfires small, and don't let them get out of hand.
  • Keep plenty of water and a shovel around to douse the fire when you're done. Stir it and douse it again with water.
  • Never leave campfires unattended.

  • Heat Related Emergencies
    Heat illness includes a range of disorders that result when your body is exposed to more heat than it can handle. The human body is constantly engaged in a life-and-death struggle to disperse the heat that it produces. If allowed to accumulate, the heat would quickly increase your body temperature beyond its comfortable 98.6° F.

    Who is at risk?

    Heat-related illness can affect anyone not used to hot weather, especially when it's combined with high humidity.
    Those especially at risk:
    • Infants, young children, elderly and pets
    • Individuals with heart or circulatory problems or other long-term illness
    • Employees working in the heat
    • Athletes and people who like to exercise (especially beginners)
    • Individuals taking certain medications that alter sweat production
    • Alcoholics and drug abusers


    Heatstroke is the most serious and life-threatening heat-related illness. In certain circumstances, your body can build up too much heat, your temperature may rise to life-threatening levels, and you can become delirious or lose consciousness. If you do not rid your body of excess heat fast enough, it "cooks" the brain and other vital organs. It is often fatal, and those who do survive may have permanent damage to their vital organs.

        Symptoms of heatstroke
    • The victim's body feels extremely hot when touched.
    • Altered mental status (behavior) ranging from slight confusion and disorientation to coma.
    • Conscious victims usually become irrational, agitated, or even aggressive and may have seizures.
    • In severe heatstroke, the victim can go into a coma in less than one hour. The longer the coma lasts, the lower the chance for survival.
        What to do
    • Move person to a half-sitting position in the shade.
    • Call for emergency medical help immediately.
    • If humidity is below 75%, spray victim with water and vigorously fan. If humidity is above 75%, apply ice packs on neck, armpits or groin.

    Heat Exhaustion
    Heat exhaustion is characterized by heavy perspiration with normal or slightly above normal body temperatures. It is caused by water or salt depletion or both (severe dehydration). Heat exhaustion affects workers and athletes who do not drink enough fluids while working or exercising in hot environments.

        Symptoms of heat exhaustion
    • Severe thirst, fatigue, headache, nausea, vomiting and sometimes diarrhea.
    • The affected person often mistakenly believes he or she has the flu.
    • Uncontrolled heat exhaustion can evolve into heatstroke.
        Other symptoms
    • Profuse Sweating
    • Clammy or pale skin
    • Dizziness
    • Rapid pulse
    • Normal or slightly above normal body temperature
        What to do
    • Sit or lie down in the shade.
    • Drink cool water or a sports drink.
    • If persistent, gently apply wet towels and call for emergency medical help.

    Heat Cramps

    Heat cramps are painful muscular spasms that happen suddenly, affecting legs or abdominal muscles. They usually happen after physical activity in people who sweat a lot or have not had enough fluids.

        What to do
    • Sit or lie down in the shade.
    • Drink cool water or a sports drink.
    • Stretch affected muscles.

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