Nick McWilliams reporting – While Independence Day is cause for celebration, residents are asked to remember safety and responsibility when ringing in America’s 246th birthday.

Every year, emergency crews respond to Fourth of July accidents, involving flames, burns, vehicle incidents, and cooking issues.

New Philadelphia Fire Chief Jim Parrish says that enjoying the holiday is important, but making sure every can do so safely is the biggest key.

“It’s a wonderful time of year to celebrate with friends and family. Don’t drink and drive, wear your seatbelt, just the normal things. As far as pools, don’t swim alone, make sure that child are attended at all times. Just have a good time, and celebrate our independence.”

Parrish reminds all residents who will be grilling to never throw water on grease fires, and instead close the lid to the cooking surface, turning off the gas if possible.

Additionally, he notes that burn bans remain in place, and to keep all small cooking fires well-contained, with a source of water at the ready.  

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