Stay safe on the Fourth

Published 7:39 pm Saturday, July 1, 2017

Fourth of July celebrations are fast approaching, but Suffolk officials are urging citizens to celebrate responsibly to make this holiday a safe one.

“Take care of yourself, and look out for each other,” Suffolk Fire and Rescue Lt. Colt Pulley said.

A city press release on Friday emphasized that the use or sale of fireworks in the city is prohibited by city code. This includes firecrackers, skyrockets, torpedoes and sparklers.

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The National Fire Protection Association has determined that more fires are reported on Independence Day compared to the rest of the year, and more than half of those are caused by fireworks, according to the press release.

“Everyone enjoys fireworks, and it wouldn’t be the 4th of July without them,” the press release stated. “However, the Suffolk Fire Marshal’s Office would like to remind residents to leave these to the professionals. Preparing for a day of family barbecues and holiday excitement is no fun if it includes a trip to the emergency room due to improper handling of fireworks.”

Officials urged motorists to follow the rules of the road, and to have a designated driver for those that plan to drink alcohol this Tuesday.

“Suffolk Police will have extra patrols on our roadways to keep the roads safe and deter impaired driving,” the press release stated.

Patient First released a list of grilling precautions for the holiday. Children and pets should be at least three feet from the outdoor grill, and no grill should be left unattended. Removing grease and fat from the grill tray will help prevent hazardous flames. Grills should always be used outdoors by someone who is sober.

Most fireworks injuries are caused by sparklers, which burn at high enough temperatures to severely burn revelers, according to the Patient First press release. All Patient First medical centers in Suffolk will be open 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. this Tuesday.

Additional Independence Day safety tips from Patient First include the following:

  • Do not let small children handle sparklers.
  • Stay away from the launch site at public fireworks displays.
  • Do not pick up fireworks debris.
  • Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a minimum of 30 SPF, even when it’s cloudy.
  • Apply sunscreen 15 to 20 minutes before going outside.
  • Wear a wide-brimmed hat to help shade your neck and face, but be sure to use sunscreen as well.
  • Wear lightweight, sun-protective clothing.
  • Wear sunglasses that block UV rays.