July 4th is a time for family fun, but it is also a time to take precautions. Whether your fun includes barbecuing with friends and family, picnics in the park, swimming or fireworks, safety measures should be in place to protect yourself, family members and neighbors. Here are a few tips to help you and your family have a safe and happy holiday.
Visiting Our Beautiful Regional Parks
Sacramento County’s popular Regional Parks will be busy with extra visitors. To offset the costs of extra patrol and maintenance, from July 1 through July 4, the vehicle entrance fee will increase to $8 for single vehicles and $13 for oversized vehicles and vehicles towing watercraft. This fee increase does not affect Annual Parks Pass
holders and now would be a great time to purchase an Annual Parks Pass. The use or possession of any type of fireworks is banned in all Sacramento County Regional Parks. Plus, there are several rules related to smoking, BBQs and open flames. Go to the Regional Parks website
for additional information.
In addition, for the public’s safety, the Regional Parks Director has issued an alcohol restriction on the American River from July 1-4. The prohibition includes open or closed alcoholic beverages.
Only use fireworks that are labeled Safe & Sane and be extra careful due to the dry conditions. It is illegal for fireworks to be used by anyone under age 18.
When lighting Safe & Sane fireworks:
- Light fireworks from the ground, not on elevated surfaces
- Do not use fireworks near dry grass or other flammable materials
- Do not use fireworks while under a canopy, covered balcony, covered patio, or under a tree or bushes
- Never attempt to re-light or "fix" fireworks
- Dispose of used fireworks in a bucket of water
- Have a garden hose ready
The majority of fires caused by fireworks are generally started by illegal or improperly used fireworks. Note that illegal fireworks explode, leave the ground, or send sparks more than 12 feet high. Safe and Sane fireworks bear the seal of the State Fire Marshal and are sold at legitimate fireworks booths.
Sacramento County allows Safe & Sane fireworks to be set off from June 28 - July 5 only.
Many people will be firing up the grill and eating outdoors, so plan ahead to prevent food illness:
- Thaw food only in a 41 degree refrigerator, under cold running water or in a microwave
- Keep raw meats separate to prevent cross contamination and thoroughly wash anything that comes into contact with raw meat
- Keep meat cold up until it is being cooked
- Use a clean food thermometer to test doneness – different kinds of meat require different temperatures to be done
- Perishable foods should not be left out of the refrigerator for more than two hours
- For more food safety tips visit the Environmental Management Department website
The sound of fireworks can terrify some pets and cause them to flee or become destructive to get away from the sound.
- Keep pets indoors at home in a sheltered, quiet area or run the TV or music to drown out outside sounds
- Remove any items that your pet could destroy or that would be harmful if chewed
- If you know that your pet is distressed by loud noises, consult with your veterinarian in advance
- Every year animal shelters are inundated with lost pets after July 4, so be sure your pets are wearing identification tags and are licensed to help with their prompt return
- Redemption fees are being waived for altered animals through July 12