How to keep families, pets safe on July 4th

(Dog file photo)

(BCN) — Public safety officials and other groups such Mother’s Against Drunk Driving are asking Bay Area residents and visitors to take some safety precautions this weekend and July 4.

MADD and Uber are teaming up for the third time to raise awareness about the dangers of impaired driving. Officials with both groups said that July 4 is one of the deadliest days of the year because of crashes related to drunk driving.

They encourage everyone to take the safer alternative to driving. The California Highway Patrol is asking drivers to watch their speed.

According to fire officials, residents who decide to celebrate with fireworks are less likely to be hurt themselves and others by taking these precautions:

  • Inspect all fireworks and avoid using damaged or leaking fireworks. Store fireworks in a cool-dry place
  • Avoid giving fireworks to a small child
  • Light one firework at a time and use a shovel to drop any duds into a pail of water
  • Spectators should be at least 10 feet away from fireworks, which should be lit at least 20 feet from a house, wood fence or brush
  • Fireworks should be lit in a large, safe, level dirt, pavement or gravel area at least 10 square feet in size
  • Avoid pointing fireworks at anyone and call 911 immediately is someone is injured

Additionally, fire officials suggest keeping an extra pail of water, wet towels, a garden hose or fire extinguisher nearby for emergencies.

Residents should also take precautions to keep pets safe during the holiday.

Pets, especially dogs, may get frightened by the sound of fireworks and may break through fences and gates and run until they are lost.

The Peninsula Human Society & Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is advising that pet owners do not take pets to fireworks displays. They should also keep pets inside in a room and draw blinds or drapes and turn on a fan, TV or radio to drown out the noise from fireworks.

Also, pet owners should make sure each pet has a microchip or some identification on them. Consider having a veterinarian give a pet a tranquilizer if it gets anxious around fireworks.
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