ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. – One of the benefits of long summer days around your home is the opportunity to soak up the sun, enjoy the outdoors, cool off in the pool and master one's grilling techniques. The Army Public Health Center’s Safety Officer Tim Sank has a few tips to make sure you stay healthy, happy and safe while still having fun in the sun.With COVID-19 concerns keeping some area and community pools closed, more people than ever are buying inflatable pools or installing above-ground or in-ground pools for their homes. According to Marketwatch.com, Amazon sales of inflatable pools and accessories has doubled over 2019 numbers. This can be a great way to beat the heat, but Sank has some critical pool safety tips.“If you have a built-in or above-ground pool or hot tub, make certain that the children can’t get to it,” said Sank. “Set water safety rules for your family. Install safety fences between the home and the water feature, and install locks on doors and windows high enough so that a child can’t disable them.”Sank recommends draining inflatable or wading pools promptly after each use. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drowning is one of the leading causes of unintentional deaths in the United States.“All it takes is one inch of water for a child to drown,” said Sank.Sank recommends taking CPR training, if not certified already, and keeping a phone and first aid kit near the pool.With Independence Day just around the corner, many families may plan to celebrate with some fireworks. The Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates about 9,100 people were treated in hospital emergency rooms for fireworks-related injuries in 2018. About 62 percent of those injuries occurred between June 22 and July 22.“More than 50,000 fires are caused by fireworks every year,” said Sank. “Take the proper precautions when operating fireworks. Never disassemble or try to make your own fireworks. Don’t point sparklers or fireworks at yourself or others, especially while they’re being lit.”Before spending a fortune on your personal celebration to independence, ensure fireworks are legal to possess and use in your city and state. The National Council on Fireworks Safety’s website is a good source of information on state fireworks laws. You should also always ask your local fire or police department if fireworks are legal in your area.“Only light fireworks on the ground and in areas that are dry and fire resistant,” said Sank. “Don’t attempt to light multiple devices at the same time, and never allow young children to handle fireworks or sparklers.”Sank said sparklers can also cause serious burns because their materials burn at very high temperatures. He recommends keeping a portable fire extinguisher close by, as well as a water hose or buckets of water nearby to put out fires.“If fireworks malfunction, don’t relight them! Douse and soak them with water then throw them away,” said Sank.Although fireworks may be legal in your state, there may be reasons, such as a burn ban due to dry weather, why their use is prohibited in some areas. For more information, visit www.fireworkssafety.org.Another summer staple for many homeowners is firing up the outdoor grill or barbecue. Sank also has some tips to keep your grilling safe.“July is one of the peak months for grilling fires,” said Sank. “Check gas grill hoses for cracks, holes and leaks, and keep children away from grills. Gas leaks, blocked tubes, and propane tanks can be a cause of grill fires and explosions.”According to the National Fire Prevention Association, 10,600 fires are started by home grills every year. They also report 19,700 patients went to the emergency room because of grilling injuries, including 9,500 thermal burns.Sank says never grill indoors, in the garage, in any enclosed area or on a surface that might catch fire. Also, keep the grill at least two feet away from decks, siding, branches and any outdoor equipment that can catch fire quickly. The NFPA has a number of grilling safety tips and videos on their website.The U.S. Army Combat Readiness Center is also an excellent resource for more home safety information, said Sank.The bottom line is everyone should take time to enjoy the summer and get out of their houses, but following these tips will keep them happy and healthy.