LIVINGSTON, NJ — In the absence of Livingston’s annual July 4th celebration, which has been canceled in order to present the spread of COVID-19, the township recognizes that many residents will find new ways to celebrate and urges residents to enjoy the holiday safely by following the tips shared below.
Fireworks Safety: Follow NJ Laws and Take Precautions
As a safer alternative to fireworks, Livingston residents are encouraged to consider using glow sticks, bubbles or confetti poppers.
Those who decide to light any fireworks or sparklers this summer are urged to carefully read all directions and warnings, use them legally and follow these safety guidelines:
- Check the laws in place in the state where fireworks use will occur. New Jersey’s laws can be found at www.nj.gov by searching for “fireworks.”
- In New Jersey, only non-aerial fireworks including hand-held and ground-based sparklers, poppers and snappers can legally be sold and used. View this flyer for permitted and prohibited items (PDF)
- Read all the directions and warnings before lighting any fireworks.
- Do not allow children to use fireworks.
- Follow the instructions for proper storage.
- Take precautions when using sparklers, which can reach up to 2,000 degrees.
- Sparklers should be used only by adults and should be held away from clothing, faces and hair.
- Do not attempt to make homemade fireworks. Users should only purchase legal fireworks that include the name of the manufacturer, directions and a warning.
- Fireworks should only be used in an outdoor area that is away from buildings, cars, trees, etc.
- The individual lighting the fireworks should quickly move a safe distance away once a firework is lit and should not stand over the firework while lighting it.
- Keep children and pets at a safe distance from fireworks.
- Pets may become frightened by the sound of fireworks, so it may be best to keep your pet indoors. Always supervise children around fireworks and at fireworks shows.
- Keep a hose or bucket of water nearby and wear eye protection when setting off fireworks.
- Only light one firework at a time. Do not try to set off multiple fireworks at once.
- Never re-light a dud firework, as it is possible the firework could still go off. Wait about 20 minutes, then pour water over the firework before disposing it.
- Do not wear loose clothing when setting off fireworks.
- Do not put fireworks in a pocket, which can accidentally set off a firework.
Livingston residents planning to enjoy outdoor cookouts with small groups of friends and family this weekend are reminded that these gathering come with an increased risk of foodborne illnesses, which tend to be more common during the summer months. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about one in six Americans suffer from a foodborne illness each year.
The Livingston Health Department shared the following tips to help residents safely prepare food this summer:
- Use separate utensils and cutting boards or platters for raw meat versus ready-to-eat foods.
- Never reuse items that touched raw meat or poultry. Clean utensils, grill and food preparation area both before and after cooking.
- Wash hands thoroughly when preparing food and especially after touching raw meat or poultry.
- Wash all produce under running tap water before preparing or eating.
- Use a meat thermometer to make sure all meat, fish and poultry are cooked thoroughly to their minimum temperatures. (Use the Safe Minimum Cooking Temperatures Chart (FoodSafety.gov))
- Visit the following pages for answers to food safety questions: Tips to Keep Food Safe this Summer (CDC) | How to Grill Safely (CDC) | Keep Food Cool to Avoid Foodborne Illness (USDA)
Summer Pet Safety
The Livingston Health Department has also shared pet safety tips for outdoor celebrations this weekend and all summer.
- Make sure pets have plenty of fresh water to drink during the day.
- Don’t leave pets outdoors on high-temperature days.
- When having a barbecue, don’t feed pets any food meant for human guests to avoid illness.
- When using or watching fireworks, leave all pets at home to avoid them being scared by the noise.
- Be on the lookout for symptoms of overheating, such as: excessive panting, glazed eyes, drooling, weakness and collapse. If a pet is experiencing any symptoms, remove him or her from the heat, apply cool water using towels, provide water and take him or her to the vet as soon as possible.
- Visit the following page for more: Hot Weather Safety Tips (ASPCA)
Precautions to Avoid Spreading COVID-19
The Livingston Health Department reminds residents that they can still be carrying COVID-19 even if they do not have symptoms. As a kindness to others, the department urges all residents to take the following actions to prevent transmission of the novel coronavirus when gathering with people outside of those who live in their home.
- Stay home if you are sick.
- Stay at least 6 feet away from people you don’t live with.
- Wear a cloth face covering.
- Wash your hands often and don’t share items with people you don’t live with.
Residents are also reminded that all Livingston Township offices remain closed until Monday, and there will be no garbage collection on Saturday, July 4.
Those who typically have garbage collected on Saturday will have their garbage picked up on their next regularly scheduled day (Wednesday, July 8). Regular weekly recycling collection will not be affected, and metal collection will resume the on Friday, July 10.