Ready for a few July safety tips? We thought you might be! Before you type “safety 4th of July tips” into that browser, spend a little time with us. We think you’ll be glad you did. It’s almost that time of year, typically a hot day in the early summer when friends and family gather to celebrate our nation’s independence. Ask most people what reminds them of this uniquely American holiday, and they’re likely to mention fireworks, sparklers, grilling and sunshine. Taking steps to ensure that you and your family have a safe 4th of July is important, especially when fireworks cause more than 50,000 fires every year! Speaking of fires, we’d be neglectful if we didn’t mention how much a home warranty can help.
If you’re thinking about 4th of July safety, you’ve got to think about fireworks safety. Start with confirming the legality of their use in your community. Many states, cities, towns and counties have fireworks-related restrictions or have outlawed their use entirely. If you want to be safe, begin by making sure you’re not breaking the law. If they’re legal, you still need to be careful. Make sure everyone keeps a safe distance from the experienced person lighting your display.
Don’t assume that sparklers are safe and let the kids run off with them. Sparklers also cause fires and injuries, so make sure their use is supervised and careful. As with fireworks, ensure that an experienced adult is in charge and that a garden hose and bucket with water are in close range. Dunk spent and malfunctioning fireworks and sparklers in the water before placing them in a plastic garbage bag and throwing them away. Avoid using fireworks or sparklers in dry areas with brush and other fire hazards. Leave your pets inside the house, as they are easily frightened and confused by loud noises.
Once you’ve settled the fireworks questions, you’ll want to move on to figuring out the food. No great holiday gathering is complete, especially the 4th of July, without a great meal, which means you’ll likely be grilling. First, make sure your grill is at least several feet away from the house and any other potential fire hazards. Keep the kids away, and inspect your grill for any potential problems before lighting up. If you use gas, make sure all hoses and tanks are secure and fully functional. If you use charcoal, make sure your grill is clean and ready for the big event. Be mindful of the sides, too. Don’t leave anything out in the sun for longer than an hour, where it could spoil. Nobody wants to ruin the party with food poisoning!
Kids and alcohol can be a dangerous combination. If you plan on having both at your gathering, make it clear to the adults that they shouldn’t leave any drinks unattended. If all adults are aware ahead of time and resolve to keep beverages in hand, poured out, and thrown out or recycled, you can likely avoid any problems with kids drinking adult drinks.
Just as your pets can easily be frightened and confused by loud noises, babies and young children can also be vulnerable to them. If you know that babies and young kids will be around when the fireworks start popping, ensure you have ear protection.
Make sure to adequately coat all the kids and babies with protective layers of sunscreen, and reapply every couple of hours (more often when swimming). Don’t forget to do the same for yourself and your elders. Whatever your age, a little vitamin D can go a long way, so be mindful of your sun exposure and avoid burning at all costs.
Speaking of swimming, if your party involves the pool, elect a couple of sober adults to keep an eye out for troubled waters and serve as your lifeguards. If no friends are planning on abstaining or willing to take on this responsibility, you can try hiring a local lifeguard by contacting your YMCA or local parks and recreation department.
If you plan on taking out the boat this year, you have a whole different set of 4th of July safety concerns. Hopefully, you knew that already and had plenty of precautions in mind before making this decision. Remember that you can expect to see more boats than usual out for the holiday, and it’s a safe bet that they won’t all operate safely. Make sure you always have a sober captain, plenty of life jackets, an accessible first-aid kit, a working radio, and plenty of hats, sunglasses, sunscreen, towels, grippy footwear (not flip-flops), and non-alcoholic liquid refreshments to complement your meals and snacks.
Just plan not to be on the road on the 4th of July. It’s not a secret that more traffic fatalities occur on this day than on any other day of the year. If you can plan to avoid being on the road, you’re making the right decision. If you see no way around it, resolve to be alert, careful, sober and attentive, and make sure to protect children with car seats and seat belts as required by law.
Thanks for reading our post on 4th of July safety and doing your part to take safety seriously on a day that can often prove dangerous. While you’re at it, check out our home protection plans to see how they can help protect the essential objects you rely on daily around your home, like your home’s major systems and appliances. Thanks for stopping by!
The information in this article is intended to provide guidance on the proper maintenance and care of systems and appliances in the home. Not all of the topics mentioned are covered by our home warranty or maintenance plans. Please review your home warranty contract carefully to understand your coverage.