The Fourth of July is just around the corner and many Coloradans will celebrate the day by camping, grilling and/or watching fireworks. To make this day truly enjoyable and filled with only good memories, the American Red Cross urges everyone to take personal responsibility for taking simple precautions that could prevent disaster.
With wildfires burning throughout the state, record heat and extremely dry conditions, it is imperative that all Colorado residents and visitors be vigilant and extra careful around anything flammable – from cigarette butts to grills to machinery that emits sparks. The Governor has enacted an executive order banning open burning and private use of fireworks, and we encourage everyone to join us in observing those rules. That includes refraining from having campfires or using certain types of grills.
Our volunteers have been working tirelessly for three weeks providing support to the thousands of people displaced by wildfires in our state, and we have seen first-hand the emotional strain, financial hardship and devastation caused by wildfires.
The most patriotic thing you can do this July 4 is be a good fellow citizen and play a part in ensuring that no fires are caused by humans over this holiday. The inconvenience of having a camp without a fire or a July 4 party without personal fireworks is nothing compared to the huge inconvenience hundreds and thousands of people experience when they become displaced by a human-caused fire.
Finally, we encourage you to follow these tips for safe enjoyment of holiday activities:
Limit sun exposure between 10 a.m.-4 p.m. when the sun is more direct
Wear light, loose-fitting clothing
Stay hydrated by drinking water, not alcohol or caffeine
Pay special attention to children and the elderly, who are more susceptible to heat-related illnesses
Always watch the barbecue/grill when in use.
Never grill indoors – not in a house, camper, tent or any enclosed area.
Make sure children and pets stay away from the grill.
Keep the grill out in the open, away from the house, the deck, tree branches or anything that could catch fire.
Use a gas or propane grill only; conditions are currently too dry for safe use of charcoal or wood grills.
We wish you all a happy, safe Independence Day!
- Neal Elinoff, American Red Cross