Staying safe on July Fourth: Celebrations bring safety, security warnings

Police step up patrol for Independence Day.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The upcoming Fourth of July is sparking a broad range of safety concerns.

In a news conference on Thursday, emergency officials warned people about potential dangers from terrorism to fireworks injuries.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police will be increasing resources for the holiday with a big focus on Uptown because of the large crowds, but NBC Charlotte is learning how you can be safer now matter where you are.

Fireworks, like ambulances, are bright and flashy. Unfortunately, the two go hand in hand more often this time of year.

“Traumatic injuries and burns double during the Fourth of July,” says Lester Oliva with Medic.

Emergency officials say children are most susceptible to those injuries, especially using sparklers.

“Just think about this glass can melt at 900 degrees, and sparklers can get up to 1200 degrees,” says Christie Russell with the Charlotte Fire Department.

“Those burns are not life threatening. However they make memories for a lifetime,” says Oliva.

Police are speaking out as well before the holiday weekend, and urging people to be vigilant around large crowds.

“If you can say, ‘Deputize all the citizens’ to be watchful, if they see something suspicious call us,” says Jeff Estes, deputy chief of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department.

“We have seen unfortunate events across the world where people have sought to do harm to large groups of people.”

CMPD will step up patrols to crack down on crime during the holiday.

“If someone fires off a round in a large group of people, particularly Uptown, they can expect to get a response,” says Deputy Chief Estes.

While police prepare, fire officials shared tips on how you can too.

“Make sure you have a fire extinguisher with you, a water hose, or a bucket of water, so if anything goes wrong you can attempt to handle that before you dial 911,” says Russell.

Medic gave NBC Charlotte a demonstration of someone who had been burned by fireworks.

“The last thing we want somebody to hear is, ‘Medic and County fire what is the address of your emergency?’,” says Oliva.

Oliva says Medic will also have additional units on standby for the Fourth of July holiday.

© 2017 WCNC.COM


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