While we’re all getting excited for 4th of July fireworks, BBQs and parades, it’s important to keep in mind that Independence Day celebrations can draw large numbers of people. Crowds at large events can easily reach a dangerous density, and as you get ready to celebrate it’s a good idea to make sure you have an understanding of crowd safety.
As you get into the 4th of July spirit, here are a few tips to ensure your safety while you’re having fun at large events:
- Gather information about the event and the location in advance. Understand what you can bring with you (some events don’t allow large bags, for example), how long it will last, and how many people are expected to attend.
- Remain alert, look around and maintain situational awareness. Make note of exits and first aid stations.
- Avoid relying on your smartphone’s Internet connection, as high-density crowds often cause cellular overload on networks.
- Pay attention to the crowd makeup, and if you notice an abnormal increase or decrease in the number of people around you, it could be a signal that something is not right.
- Ensure that everyone in your group knows where to go if separated or in case of trouble, again, without counting on your cellular service to facilitate the meetup.
- Keep to the edges of crowds when navigating the event rather than trying to head through the middle.
- Take advantage of toilets when you are nearby, as searching through crowds to find them can be difficult, and lines can often be excessive.
- Have multiple options for getting home or out of the area in case of any unexpected occurrences such as road closures, taxi shortages, or transit shutdowns.
If an emergency occurs, it is extremely important to remain calm and avoid panic while heading to the nearest exit and waiting for official instructions from the event staff or law enforcement.
Stay safe and Happy 4th of July!