COLUMBIA — This summer, many people will be enjoying the summer weather, firing up the backyard grill, or enjoying fireworks, and the American Red Cross offers a series of steps everyone can follow to safely enjoy the summer safely.
“A privilege of living in the Palmetto State is the weather that we enjoy in the summer months. Even with this the Red Cross wants to ensure that we all enjoy it safely and responsibly,” said Rebecca Jordan, Executive Director, Central SC Chapter.
While we enjoy the warm weather, we must remember that excessive heat has caused more deaths than all other weather events, including floods. The Red Cross offers these five tips everyone should do to stay safe this summer:
1. Be aware of both the temperature and the heat index. The heat index is the temperature the body feels when the effects of heat and humidity are combined.
2. Discuss heat safety precautions with members of your household. Have a plan for wherever you spend time— home, work and school—and prepare for power outages.
3. Know those in your neighborhood who are elderly, young, sick or overweight. They are more likely to become victims of excessive heat and may need help.
4. If you do not have air conditioning, choose places you could go to for relief from the heat during the warmest part of the day (schools, libraries, theaters, malls).
5. Ensure that your animals' needs for water and shade are met.
The best way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public fireworks show put on by professionals. Here are five safety steps for people setting fireworks off at home:
1. Never give fireworks to small children, and always follow the instructions on the packaging.
2. Keep a supply of water close by as a precaution.
3. Make sure the person lighting fireworks always wears eye protection.
4. Light only one firework at a time and never attempt to relight "a dud."
5. Never throw or point a firework toward people, animals, vehicles, structures or flammable materials.
Every year people are injured while using charcoal or gas grills. Here are several steps to safely cook up treats for the backyard barbecue:
1. Always supervise a barbecue grill when in use.
2. Never grill indoors – not in the house, camper, tent, or any enclosed area.
3. Make sure everyone, including the pets, stays away from the grill.
4. Keep the grill out in the open, away from the house, the deck, tree branches, or anything that could catch fire.
5. Use the long-handled tools especially made for cooking on the grill to keep the chef safe.