Tips For a Fun, Safe Holiday Weekend in the Northland

Officials Send a Warning on 4th of July

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It’s a time for food, fireworks and all things American. 

But, with celebrations comes the risk of accidents. 

Whether you’re in the car, on the boat, or having a BBQ, officials are sending out a warning on the deadliest holiday of the year. 

Independence Day accounts for 40% of Minnesota traffic deaths. 

“We don’t want to see any fatalities over the weekend,” said Sgt. Neil Dickenson with the Minnesota State Patrol. 

Dickenson wants to ensure Northlanders avoid spending the holiday behind bars. 

“We’re going to have extra patrol this weekend looking for impaired driver,” said Dickenson.

So, buckle up, slow down, pay attention, drive sober and look twice for motorcyclists.

“We’ve actually seen a decrease in the number of fatalities as well as arrests or incidents involving boating safety,” said Derrick Rockey with the U.S Coast Guard in Duluth. 

Last year, the Coast Guard responded to 20 calls for assists and they hope to lower that number this year. 

So, here are a few reminders before you set and sail. 

“Make sure you have life jackets on board for everyone.  It’s always important,” said Rockey. 

Alcohol continues to be the leading factor in boating deaths. 

“You don’t want to do it out on the lake on a boat.  It’s a safety hazard and it’s also against the law,” said Rockey. 

Another hazard? Fireworks.

“One in 5 of the fireworks accidents are involving sparklers,” said Fire Inspector, Bob Zimmerman, with the Superior Fire Department. 

The risk is 2 1/2 times higher for children. 

“Sparklers can burn up to 1,800 degrees when they are lit,” said Zimmerman. 

Which is hot enough to cause 3rd degree burns. 

The 4th of July is a fun time for all. 

But, what would the day be if we didn’t go outside and enjoy a nice BBQ with friends and family? 

Well, Superior Meats has taken 2 full weeks to prep for their customers. 

“You have to stand beside a grill with brats and burgers or steaks with that beer in your hand.  It’s just un-American not to,” said Manager of Superior Meat’s, Mike Cragin.

So, celebrate!

But, do it with those safety tips in mind. 

Triple A says you’ll be sharing the road with more than 41 million other people this weekend.

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