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Safety Tips for Fireworks Night

July 26th, 2011 | by admin admin | in Safety Advice |    0   comments

Are you attending this year’s Celebration of Light? As the recent Stanley Cup riot showed, large crowds can spell trouble. It helps to plan ahead.

Stay connected. If you’re going with friends, decide what you’ll do if you get separated. Are your cell phones fully charged? Do you have each other’s numbers? Arrange to meet at an easily identifiable spot – like the Inukshuk on English Bay or the totem pole near the Maritime Museum – in case you have trouble with your cell phones. Is there a friend or family member staying home? Perhaps you can all report to a mutual friend to re-establish contact.

Prep your kids. When you arrive, review your surroundings with your children. Who are the security people they can go to for help? Point out unique uniform details – colour, words etc. Like friends, older children can agree on a meeting spot. Ensure all your kids know to stay within sight at all times.

Watch for pickpockets. Thieves will be working the crowd. Keep a limited amount of cash and one credit card in an interior pocket.

Avoid trouble. If a fight breaks out or someone starts shoving, try to clear the area quickly but calmly. Do not panic or run. Some pathways can become congested, especially near steps. If the crowd surges and you feel unsafe, work your way to the edges.

Be patient. Too often pedestrians, cyclists and cars jostle for room on the streets after the fireworks. Sometimes drivers can get frustrated and edge too close to a crowd. Expect a long night heading home and try to share the road.

Be prepared for weather. Mother Nature has upstaged the fireworks before with thunder and lightning. Pack your rain gear and never take shelter under a tree. And watch out for muddy ground – if someone slips, a crowd can fall like dominoes. Better yet, watch the lightning show from home.

Stay clean. Those portable toilets can be gross.Throw some hand sanitizer, a water bottle and some toilet paper in your bag.

Bring food. Some high-protein snacks will keep your stomach from growling in case you’re stuck in the crowd or in traffic for awhile.

Attention, boaters. The Celebration of Light web site has an entire page devoted to boater safety and etiquette. Remember to follow all boating regulations, carry proper safety equipment and stay outside the perimeter marked by marine buoys. After all, you don’t really want to be in the show, do you? And if you’re not experienced operating a boat at night, please watch from the beach.

Finally, leave your alcohol at home. This town has seen what alcohol, a large crowd and a few yahoos can do. Let’s show Vancouver knows how to party without a hangover.

Author: Susanna Chu

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