The Three Biggest July Fourth Risks and What You Can Do About Them

Published on Tue, 07/01/2014 - 18:37

As we ramp up to a weekend of sunshine and outdoor fun, here’s an important reminder from your friends at Heffernan Insurance: Stay safe this Independence Day.

With safety in mind, here are three of the biggest risks and how you can avoid them.

Risk #1: Driving

The Fourth of July has repeatedly ranked as the deadliest holiday of the year – even deadlier than New Year's Day according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

How to protect yourself:

  • Stay off the roads if at all possible and encourage your teenage drivers to do the same.
  • If you have to drive, drive sober with a pre-established designated driver.
  • If you host a party, remember that you can be held liable if a guest drinks, drives and causes harm to someone else. Encourage guests to indulge responsibly and hire taxis as needed.

Risk #2: Drowning

Out on the water this weekend? If so, take a moment now to understand the signs of drowning: what it looks like, and more importantly, what it doesn’t.

Drowning looks very different in real life than it does in the movies ... which is why many parents have watched their child drown without realizing what was happening.

How to be prepared:

  • Wear a life jacket and require children to do so.
  • Be cautious of water temperatures – Some water is still cold, which can interfere with one’s ability to swim.
  • If kids are in the water, assign one adult to be the lifeguard.
  • Know what drowning looks like. A child (or adult) who is drowning doesn’t yell or even splash; they’re physically unable to do so. Read the Slate article for more information, or click here to see “the eight quiet signs of drowning.”

Risk #3: Fireworks

A much-beloved American tradition, fireworks on the Fourth can create an awe-inspiring night of wonder and childhood delight. And ... they can also injure a lot of people, as “the nation's emergency doctors, hand surgeons, and ophthalmologists” know too well.

How to protect yourself:

  • Be prepared for fire and keep a fire extinguisher and hose nearby. It’s not uncommon for trees and roofs to catch an unintended spark.
  • Carefully supervise kids. If you buy consumer fireworks, follow the directions exactly. Also, know that even professional fireworks shows can go wrong, so exercise caution.
  • It’s a good idea to prepare two first aid kits – one for the house, the other for the car.

Here’s wishing you a fun and safe July Fourth holiday!

At Heffernan we offer a variety of business and individual services to help you mitigate risks, protect your assets and stay safe, on holidays and every day. Learn more about how we do that.