Press Release

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Tips for an accident-free Independence Day from Foremost Insurance Group

(Grand Rapids, MI) – In 1776, there were an estimated 2.5 million people living in the United States. Today, it’s estimated there are over 309 million – a lot more to be aware of when it comes to safety during the Fourth of July holiday.  Foremost® encourages you to take safety into your own hands this Independence Day by following some of these tips.   

“The weekend of the Fourth of July is actually one of the busiest times for our call centers,” says Tracy Vogel, customer service manager of the Grand Rapids HelpPoint® Claim Services.  “During the summer months, and especially over the holiday weekends, we receive many different claim calls. These calls result from fires, boat accidents, and traveling incidents with cars or recreational vehicles. With some extra caution during these months, many of these situations could be avoided.” 

Celebrate the holiday safely by following these tips.

Cookouts

To prevent bacteria from causing foodborne illnesses:

  • Keep meat and poultry cold until you’re ready to cook it
  • Avoid using the same utensils and plates for raw meat and cooked food
  • Cook meat thoroughly
  • Make sure coolers are kept out of the direct sun and try not to lift the lid too often
  • Refrigerate unused food as soon as possible

Boating

To keep your family and friends safe on the water:

  • Take a boating safety course before getting out on the water
  • Have a lifejacket available for everyone on the boat and require passengers wear them at all times
  • Comply with all signs and follow speed limits, no-wake zone requirements and be aware of underwater obstructions
  • Assign a designated driver
  • Bring plenty of sunscreen and drinking water
  • Be aware of weather developments
  • Have an operating radio or signal device on board for emergencies

Fireworks

Fireworks may be festive, but they can also be dangerous. To avoid injuries:

  • Follow law enforcement and state regulations
  • Read and follow all warnings and instructions
  • Never allow children to play with or light fireworks
  • Be sure people watching are a safe distance away
  • Be well aware of other people setting off fireworks
  • Only light fireworks on a smooth, flat surface away from people and any other objects, especially flammable items
  • Be fully aware of surrounding areas, including backyard brush areas, that may ignite from sparks
  • Never try to relight fireworks that have not completely gone off
  • Have water available in case of an emergency
  • Dispose of any unused fireworks in accordance with local regulations

Campfires

To help prevent unwanted fires from spreading or people from getting hurt:

  • Build your fire in an appropriate ring or pit
  • Be aware of overhanging branches, dry leaves or other objects nearby that may catch fire
  • Always monitor your fire – do not leave it unattended
  • Monitor weather conditions –windy conditions can quickly cause a fire to burn out of control
  • Stay upwind from campfire smoke
  • Be aware of sparks that may land on clothing or skin
  • Pay attention to loose or baggy clothing when near the fire, i.e., shirt tails or long sleeves
  • Use proper utensils when building a fire or cooking over one – never reach in to grab a log or fallen object
  • Use caution around fire rings or pits – any metal may be hot
  • Clear debris from around the campfire area to avoid tripping or falling
  • Use water or dirt to extinguish your fire thoroughly and have it available for emergencies

Driving

Many will be on the road, traveling for the holiday. Be aware of your own driving as well as others on the road by following these tips:

  • Always wear your seatbelt
  • Secure children in child safety seats appropriate for their age and size
  • Plan ahead and allow yourself extra time
  • Avoid using your cell phone, even with a hands-free device, while you’re driving
  • Do not text while driving
  • Do not eat while driving
  • Leave plenty of space between your car and the car ahead of you
  • Observe the road and traffic conditions and be prepared for sudden changes
  • Assign a designated driver
  • Comply with all traffic signs and speed limits
  • Follow instructions in detour areas or anywhere there is road construction

With these tips in mind, have a safe, enjoyable holiday and summer with all of your outdoor activities.

Foremost Insurance Group (“Foremost”) is your source for personal property and casualty insurance. A part of the Farmers Insurance Group of Companies®, Foremost has been a leader in the insurance industry since 1952. Foremost is headquartered in Caledonia, Michigan. To learn more about our products or share your feedback, visit www.Foremost.com, our Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/foremostinsurance or our Twitter page at www.Twitter.com/foremost.

Christy Heilman
(616) 956-4289
christy.heilman@foremost.com

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