The Daily Gazette
The Locally Owned Voice Of The Capital Region

Your annual 'Don't be Stupid' reminder

Smart people do stupid things. Stupid people do stupid things. All the people in between? Same.

The truisms explain the need for safety lists that come out every Fourth of July, which uncharitably could be titled "Don't Be a Moron."

Take the local American Red Cross safety list, which includes some "tips" that somehow, every year, escape people. They include:

— Do not drink and drive.
— Never give fireworks to small children.
— Never throw or point a firework toward people, animals, vehicles, structures or flammable materials.
— Never grill indoors — not in a house, camper, tent, or any enclosed area.

Do all of these "Well, duh" guidelines actually have to be stated? Judging by the carnage every Independence Day holiday ... well, yeah.

"Across the country thousands of people are injured," said Kimmy Tavarez, spokeswoman for the Northeast New York Region of the American Red Cross. "The Fourth or July or any holiday is a fun time. You are trying to make the most of the holiday. Safety is not the first thing on their mind."

The American College of Emergency Physicians reports there are nearly 10,000 fireworks-related injuries each year.

But "Never grill indoors"? Are people that clueless?

"It's not that people are clueless about things," Tavarez said. "But if you prepare a little bit in advance before firing the grills up it might keep you a little bit safer."

This is why entities like the American Red Cross and hospitals local and around the country put out these lists.

"We would prefer people take precautions ahead of time so they can avoid making a careless mistake," Tavarez said.

Sounds smart, anyway.

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