NHCH & Red Cross Offer 4th of July Safety Tips

July 4, 2019, 8:00 AM HST
* Updated July 3, 11:46 AM
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As we look forward to celebrating Independence Day, North Hawai’i Community Hospital and the Hawaii Red Cross offer tips to make the holiday enjoyable and safe around fireworks, in the water, and at gatherings like picnics and parties.

North Hawai’i Community Hospital


  • Follow directions on all fireworks and don’t use them for anything other than what they’re intended for
  • Never give fireworks to small children
  • Never throw or point fireworks toward people, animals, vehicles, structures or flammable materials
  • Don’t alter or combine fireworks
  • Never use homemade fireworks
  • Have water available when lighting fireworks
  • Keep spectators a safe distance away
  • Make sure that whoever is lighting fireworks is sober and wearing safety glasses
  • Never try to relight a firework that appear to be a “dud”
  • Dispose of all firework materials by soaking in water before putting in the trash
  • Keep fireworks and sparklers away from clothing and other flammable materials
  • The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public professional fireworks show


  • Don’t take your pets to fireworks displays
  • Don’t leave your pets unattended outside during fireworks
  • Consider leaving the TV or radio on so your pets won’t hear the fireworks


  • Always supervise a barbecue grill when in use
  • Keep the grill out in the open, away from anything that could catch fire, and never grill in an enclosed area
  • Make sure everyone, including the pets, stays away from the grill
  • Never add charcoal starter fluid when coals have already been ignited
  • Beware of outdoor food spoilage—keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold


  • Be alert to water conditions, such as water depth and ocean currents, and check with lifeguards
  • Swim sober and always swim with a buddy
  • Protect the neck‚don’t dive headfirst
  • Keep constant attention on children while at the beach


  • Wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a protection factor of at least 15 and reapply often
  • Drink plenty of water and avoid drinks with alcohol or caffeine that will dehydrate you
  • Protect your eyes by wearing sunglasses that absorb 100 percent UV sunlight
  • Protect your feet from burning sand and broken glass

Hawaii Red Cross



The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public firework show put on by professionals. If you are setting fireworks off at home, follow these safety steps:

  • Never give fireworks to small children, and never throw or point a firework toward people, animals, vehicles, structures or flammable materials. Always follow the instructions on the packaging.
  • Keep a supply of water close by as a precaution.
  • Make sure the person lighting fireworks always wears eye protection.
  • Light only one firework at a time and never attempt to relight “a dud.”
  • Store fireworks in a cool, dry place away from children and pets.


  • Wash your hands before preparing the food.
  • Don’t leave food out in the hot sun. Keep perishable foods in a cooler with plenty of ice or freezer gel packs.
  • Always supervise the grill when in use. Don’t add charcoal starter fluid when coals have already been ignited. Use the long-handled tools especially made for cooking on the grill to keep the chef safe.
  • Keep children and pets away from the grill.


  • Provide close and constant attention to children. Always supervise them in or near water.
  • Fence pools and spas with adequate barriers, including four-sided fencing.
  • Learn swimming and water survival skills.
  • Children, inexperienced swimmers, and all boaters should wear life jackets.
  • Always swim in a lifeguarded area.
  • Alcohol and swimming do not mix. Try not to swim alone, but in groups or with a partner.
  • Know your limitations and be sure you can swim back to shore if swimming in the ocean.
  • If you are caught in a rip current, try not to panic. Signal to those on shore that you need assistance.
  • Swim parallel to the shore until you are out of the current. Once you are free, swim toward shore. If you can’t swim to the shore, float or tread water until you are free of the rip current and then head toward shore.
  • Wear protective clothing, including a hat and use sunscreen.

For more information to help prepare for an emergency, download the free Red Cross First Aid App, which provides instant access to information on handling the most common first aid emergencies.

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