Practice Firework, Grilling Safety this Fourth of July

7/1/2019

The Fourth of July is our national holiday to celebrate our nation’s independence. If you plan to celebrate by lighting fireworks or grilling, keep safety in mind for you, your family, and those around you. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), an average of 280 people go to the emergency roomClick to closeThe hospital department that provides emergency services to patients who need immediate medical attention. every day with fireworks-related injuries during the month surrounding the Fourth of July.

In case you sustain an injury or become ill this Fourth of July, know your TRICARE options for getting care. If you reasonably think that you have an emergency, call 911 or your local emergency service center. Or, go to the nearest emergency room or facility. If you have a TRICARE Prime plan, be sure to contact your primary care manager within 24 hours or on the next business day after you receive emergency care.

Otherwise, you may be able to seek urgent care. Urgent care clinics offer quick walk-in services without an appointment. If you go to an urgent care clinic, make sure you follow your plan’s rules for getting urgent care.

Fireworks are most enjoyable and safest when done by experts. However, here are a few safety tips to reduce the chances of fireworks causing harm to you and your family:

  • Talk to your children prior to the festivities about firework safety and the dangers of burns from sparklers.
  • Keep water on hand, and douse used fireworks with water before throwing away.
  • Be mindful of your clothing around fireworks. Don’t wear any garments that are flowy or drape to the ground.
  • Light fireworks one at a time in a clear and opened area, away from houses, power lines, or trees and bushes.

For many, grilling is a part of Fourth of July celebrations. If you plan to grill, take food precautions to ensure safety for you and your guests. Food poisoning peaks in the summer months as warmer temperatures cause foodborne germs to thrive. Each year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates “48 million people get sick from a foodborne illness, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die.”

To prevent foodborne illness from occurring, follow four simple steps:

  • Wash your hands before handling raw meats and clean the grill before and after cooking.
  • Separate food groups to avoid cross-contamination. Be sure to have clean utensils and a clean plate handy to remove cooked meat from the grill.
  • Cook food thoroughly. A food thermometer can help ensure meats are cooked.
  • Chill food until ready to grill. After grilling, put leftovers in the freezer or fridge within two hours of cooking.
To learn more about firework safety and grilling safety, visit the CPSC and CDC websites. And review your TRICARE treatment options in case an injury occurs. Have fun and stay safe this Fourth of July!

Last Updated 7/5/2019