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Tips for a safe 4th of July in the Borderland

EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) -- 4th of July is here!! Time to bust out the grills, hang outside by the pool, and watch the fireworks.

While celebrating the 4th of July holiday can be fun it can also become dangerous if safety precautions

The El Paso fire department is still on high alert for heat safety.

"We're asking people to be very careful. We know the weather is still pretty hot. We're still seeing temperatures over 100 degrees. So just stay hydrated, stay in the shade as much as you can," said Enrique Dueñas, El Paso Fire Department spokesperson.

El Paso Fire Department says if you can, avoid being outdoors till the sun goes down as well as avoid sugary drinks.

"Stay hydrated. This means water or maybe sports drinks, but not sodas, not alcohol, no coffee or nothing with sugar, because that's going to do the opposite effect on you as well," said Dueñas.

EPFD recommends wearing a cap as well as loose-fitting clothing that is long-sleeved and lighter in color.

Another common 4th of July tradition is swimming.

According to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services as of July 1st, there have been 34 reports of child water fatalities in Texas. 15 of those cases involved a pool drowning. 1 of which occurred in El Paso.

EPFD says the number one safety tip when it comes to swimming is supervision.

"Even if you are at a public park where there are lifeguards on duty, you have to remember they are not your babysitters they are there, in case you have an emergency. They're just like the fire department, like the police department. They are going to be there to help you out in case you need it in case there's an emergency. But the first line of defense is the parents or guardians who have these children in the water," said Dueñas.

There are many staples that come to mind when we think of the 4th of July celebrations many of them involve striking a match.

"Today's a big day for grilling. We know a lot of people are going to be doing cookouts, getting some grills," said Dueñas.

El Paso Fire recommends keeping children away from the grill to avoid the risk of burns or knocking over a lit grill.

"Whoever is going to be doing the cooking, we're recommending they use short sleeves or roll up their sleeves. And that way there is no danger of them catching fire," said Dueñas.

EPFD also warns of a permanent ban on fireworks within city limits.

"You can get in trouble if a police officer catches you popping fireworks, you can get fined for every firework that you have. So these can quickly rack up the bill," said Dueñas.

El Paso Fire warns if you are popping fireworks outside the city limits to do so with caution.

"Do not let children handle any fireworks. Do not point the fireworks at anyone else. Have a bucket with water or sand. So that way you can put any fires again with the debris, anything that's already popped put it water in it because it's still going to be hot," said Dueñas.

EPFD also tells those popping fireworks to stay clear of areas with dry vegetation because of added fire danger giving a red flag warning in place.

 "Just make sure there's no vegetation, especially any trees, any grass because right now we're seeing a lot of heat," said Dueñas.

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Sarah Coria

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