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July 4, 2014

Officials offer holiday safety tips

PLATTSBURGH — Simple Fourth of July safety precautions can ensure a fun and safe holiday.

Practicing barbecue and fireworks safety and designating a driver are essential, authorities say.

FIREWORK SAFETY

Fireworks are not safe in the hands of consumers and cause thousands of burns and other injuries every year, the Clinton County Firefighters Association said.

In 2011, almost 18,000 fires were caused by fireworks, according to the National Fire Protection Association, and July 4 is one of the busiest days of the year for fire departments.

Instead of using store-bought fireworks, officials advise people to attend public shows put on by experts.

They also encourage people to pay special attention to the safety of children at events where fireworks are used.

Consult your local fire station with questions.

GRILL SAFETY

Barbecuing can lead to out-of-control fires if precautions aren’t taken.

• Do not leave the grill unattended.

• Grills should only be used outdoors.

• Keep the grill out in the open, away from the house, deck, tree branches and anything that could catch fire.

• Keep the grill clean and free of grease.

• Everyone other than the person grilling, including pets and children, should be kept a safe distance.

• Check the tank hose for leaks, and service the grill as needed.

For charcoal grills:

• When starting, use only charcoal starter fluid.

• Never add flammable liquids to the fire.

• Keep flammable liquids away from heat sources.

• Wait until coals have cooled before removing ashes, and put them in a metal container.

INCREASED DWI PATROLS

State Police and other area law enforcement agencies are increasing driving while intoxicated and distracted driving patrols for the Fourth of July weekend.

The crackdown, which will include sobriety checkpoints, begins Thursday and will run through Sunday.

“The Fourth of July is known for its fun and fireworks, but New Yorkers should also remember it can also be fatal if they don’t make the right decision,” New York State Police Superintendent Joseph D’Amico said in a news release.

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