File photo.
Photo by Morgan Genser

The Santa Monica Fire Department issued a reminder this week for the Fourth of July that all fireworks are illegal in Santa Monica, including fireworks purchased where they are legal.

The department advises the public to instead watch fireworks by trained professionals.

In the statement, officials said about 9,600 people in the U.S. were treated in 2011 for firework-related injuries. Officials added that more fires are reported in the U.S. on the Fourth of July than on any other day of the year, and that fireworks account for 40 percent of those fires.

The American Red Cross also released a list of safety advice for those celebrating the Fourth of July with barbecues, beaches and sun.

The Red Cross said those using outdoor grills should:

• Make sure a barbecue is not left unattended while in use.

• Never grill indoors.

• Keep other people and pets away from the grill.

• Keep the grill out in the open and away from anything that could be lit aflame.

• Use long-handled cooking utensils.

• Never use starter fluid when charcoal is already lit.

• Follow the manual’s instructions.


The Red Cross said those who go to the beaches to swim should:

• Only swim when a lifeguard is present and obey his or her instructions.

• Look out for signs or flags warning about weather conditions.

• Don’t drink alcohol before swimming.

• Never swim by yourself.

• Have young and inexperienced swimmers wear a life jacket.

• Don’t dive headfirst into the water and walk slowly into the open ocean.

• Keep a lookout for adults and children in the water.

• Avoid plants and animals in the water.


The Red Cross warned about rip currents and said swimmers should:

• Swim parallel to the shore if caught in a current. After freeing themselves from the current, swimmers should go toward the shore, or float or tread water if they are still unable to swim toward shore.

• Stay at least 100 feet away from piers and jetties. Rip currents often occur near such structures.


To protect from sunburn, harmful UV rays and hyperthermia, the Red Cross suggested that individuals:

• Limit exposure to direct sunlight between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

• Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a SPF of at least 15 and reapply often.

• Drink water regularly and avoid drinks with alcohol or caffeine.

• Wear sunglasses that will absorb 100 percent of UV sunlight.

• Protect feet from debris in the sand and from sunlight.

• Watch for symptoms of heat stroke, including red skin, changes in consciousness, shallow, rapid breathing and a rapid, weak pulse.

• If someone may be suffering from heat stroke, call 911 and take the person to a cooler place. Apply a cool compress such as a wet cloth or towel to the skin and fan the person. Make sure the person’s airway is clear and keep the person lying down.


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