Independence Day is just around the corner, and there is no doubt that people all over Texas will be celebrating, taking part in picnics, barbeques and other parties and watching parades, fireworks displays and concerts. With a three-day weekend, some may go out of town to celebrate. No matter how you spend your Fourth of July, it is important to remember to stay safe.
Our Houston personal injury attorneys can offer several helpful tips to keep you and your family safe this Fourth of July weekend.
Swimming and Boating
With the warm weather, now is the perfect time for swimming, boating and other water activities. Before you take to the water, remember several safety tips and you can protect your children and other loved ones from water-related accidents and drownings:
- Always supervise your children in and near the water. This applies if you are at your own swimming pool at home, are at a water park or are out in the water at the beach or on a lake. Stay close and keep a watchful eye on your children, even if they know how to swim.
- Do not swim alone. Even as an adult, it is a good idea to use a buddy system when swimming. If an accident occurs, you will have someone else to help or call for assistance.
- Wear lifejackets while on the water. If you are going out on a boat, Jet Ski or other watercraft, be sure to wear a lifejacket.
- Check weather and water conditions before you go out. This can help you avoid a weather-related accident and will help you prepare for rough waters.
- Do not drink and swim, boat or participate in other water activities while intoxicated. Drinking and water do not mix, as one's ability to safely operate a watercraft and to swim may be severely impaired by alcohol.
Fireworks are illegal in the City of Houston and in other incorporated areas of Harris County, but may be permitted in certain unincorporated areas of the county. If you are attending a fireworks show or are interested in setting off fireworks of your own, it is important to stay safe. If you are in an area where fireworks are permitted, the Harris County Fire Marshal's Office offers the following tips:
- No not let children purchase, play with or ignite fireworks of any kind.
- Purchase fireworks from a reliable vendor.
- Use fireworks only as directed.
- Do not experiment with fireworks or try to make your own.
- Be sure to have water handy in case of a malfunction or fire.
- Set off fireworks from a smooth, flat surface away from any houses or other buildings.
- Do not throw fireworks at another person, vehicle or animal.
- Only light one firework at a time, and never try to reignite a firework that has malfunctioned.
Watch out for drunk drivers!
Alcohol will play a part in many Fourth of July celebrations, both day and night. Keep this in mind if you are driving. There is an increased likelihood of drunk drivers on holidays, particularly Independence Day. In fact, 40% of all drunk driving fatalities in the U.S. over the past 5 years have taken place over the Fourth of July holiday period, according to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. To stay safe:
- Do not drink and drive. Designate a driver, call a taxi or use another driving service instead of driving after drinking.
- Do not let your friends and family members drink and drive. Intervene however you can, by helping them arrange alternative transportation or helping them stay safe until they are sober.
- Watch out for drunk drivers. Be particularly vigilant in watching for drivers who may be swerving, speeding, driving too slowly or otherwise putting themselves and others in danger.
- Report drunk drivers. If you notice a driver who is driving erratically, call 911 or your local law enforcement agency and report them to the authorities so they can be stopped before they cause harm.
Keeping these tips in mind, we at The Daspit Law Firm hope you have a safe and fun Fourth of July weekend!