GROVELAND — Fire Chief Robert Valentine would like to remind Groveland residents about some important safety tips that can help ensure everyone has a fun and safe summer, including the Fourth of July holiday.
Fireworks of all kinds are illegal in Massachusetts. On average, 180 people go to the emergency room every day with fireworks-related injuries in the month around the July 4th holiday, according to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
“Fireworks are not only illegal, they are extremely dangerous. Unfortunately, they are also commonly misused,” Chief Valentine said. “Residents need to remember to be safe when spending time with friends and family by adhering to social distancing guidelines, avoiding fireworks and following common sense safety tips throughout the summer.”
The Groveland Fire Department reminds all residents that in addition to the following safety tips, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic people should be continuing to practice aggressive social distancing by keeping a six-foot distance from others, and wearing an appropriate face covering while around others.
Fireworks Can Cause Serious Injuries
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), sparklers can burn as hot as 2,000 degrees and pose an injury risk, especially to children. To warn individuals of the dangers related to firework use, the Groveland Fire Department reiterates the following injury facts by the CPSC:
- The types of fireworks that cause the most injuries are firecrackers, sparklers and bottle rockets.
- The most frequently injured body parts are the hands, head/neck, and eyes.
- Burns are the most common injury. Cuts, bumps and bruises are the most common injuries to the head.
- In addition to blindness, third degree burns and permanent scarring, fireworks also cause life-threatening home and motor vehicle fires.
To prevent illness and injuries, the Groveland Fire Department recommends the following safety tips from the American Red Cross and National Safety Council:
- Hot cars can be deadly. Never leave children or pets in your vehicle. The inside temperature of the car can quickly reach over 100 degrees, even on a 70 degree day.
- Do not leave hand sanitizer in your vehicle. The heat will render it less effective.
- Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
- Check on family, friends and neighbors who do not have air conditioning, who spend much of their time alone or who are more likely to be affected by the heat.
- Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing. Avoid dark colors because they absorb the sun’s rays.
- Slow down and avoid strenuous exercise during the hottest part of the day, which is typically around 3 p.m.
- Avoid extreme temperature changes.
- Take frequent breaks if working outdoors.
- Check on animals frequently to ensure that they are not suffering from the heat. Make sure they have plenty of cool water.
- Learn to recognize and treat heat illnesses.
According to the American Red Cross, 10 people die daily due to unintentional drowning and approximately 20% of those people are under the age of 14.
Pool safety tips from the American Red Cross include:
- Per Massachusetts regulation, pools should be surrounded by a four-foot-high barrier that encloses the pool and has an access gate that self-closes, locks and opens outward from the swimming area (even if you don’t have children).
- Fasten a safety cover over the pool when it is not in use, and remove ladders to further prevent access into the pool. Pool alarms are required whenever a house door leads directly to a pool deck.
- Never leave children unattended while they are in or near a pool, and make sure they have an adult to accompany them into the water. Young or inexperienced swimmers should always wear a life jacket or inflatable arm flotation devices.
- Make sure children stay away from pool drains, pipes or any other openings to avoid getting trapped or hurt.
- Set safety instructions and share them with family, friends, neighbors and anyone else who is near or uses the pool. Advise children to stay away from pool deep ends, and to always walk, never run near the pool.
- Keep your pool or hot tub water clean and clear. Maintain proper chemical levels, circulation and filtration. Regularly test and adjust the chemical levels to minimize the risk of earaches, rashes or more serious diseases.
- Never use the pool if the chemical levels are not correct, or if the water is cloudy and you can’t see the bottom.
- Take a CPR course for adults and children to be prepared if an emergency situation occurs. Update skills regularly.
- Watch the local weather reports and do not swim if thunderstorms are in the forecast.
- Those who are 21 and older should drink responsibly if they choose to consume alcoholic beverages when by the pool. Overindulging increases the risk for injuries or accidental drowning.
- Avoid using glass containers by the pool. They could break and leave glass around the pool or in the water.