4th of July Fun, Fireworks, and Fire Safety
The 4th of July is the quintessential American holiday. We celebrate our nation’s independence by spending the day enjoying warm summer weather, picnicking or barbecuing, and enjoying a fireworks show. In many communities, residents enjoy a local, public fireworks display; however, there are cities and towns where it’s legal for citizens to buy and set off their own fireworks. If you live in one of those places, remember, fireworks can be dangerous and should be used with caution. They can cause injuries to the individual igniting them, as well as others, and are a fire hazard. Taking the appropriate safety measures is essential.
Here are some important safety tips for enjoying your 4th of July:
Use fireworks in an open area. This is a simple but incredibly important safety measure: the risk of a harmful fire or explosion is much greater if fireworks are used indoors, or near buildings or vehicles. Always use fireworks outside in an open area; steer clear of trees and brush as well as buildings, vehicles, and people. Since fireworks can backfire or shoot in the wrong direction, make sure that those watching the show aren’t near where the fireworks are being ignited, and that no fireworks are ever, ever pointed at people.
Protect yourself. Always wear safety glasses when using fireworks, and never have any part of your body over fireworks when lighting them. Instead, light one firework at a time, and quickly move away from it. Also, never carry fireworks in your pocket— the friction could set them off.
Don’t forget pet safety. Don’t bring pets to any fireworks displays, no matter how small. It’s also best to place pets in an interior room in your home on the 4th of July to help shield them from the sounds of nearby fireworks, which can scare them. Finally, make sure your pet has a chip or identification tags, so that if they do manage to run away during fireworks, they can be found more quickly.
Keep a fire extinguisher nearby. If you’re using fireworks this 4th of July, you should keep a fire extinguisher ready, in case of emergency. Additionally, make sure you know how to use it— be familiar with it before an emergency arises, since trying to learn one will be stressful and may exacerbate the problem. Also, keep a bucket of water— this will be useful for soaking any dud fireworks— and a functioning hose close by, as added precautions.
Choose safer alternatives. If you’re worried about the potential dangers of fireworks, or don’t want to deal with the work, it’s totally fine to choose alternative entertainment for your 4th of July festivities— or go to a public display where hired professionals handle the fireworks
The 4th of July can be a delightful holiday, but it can also be a dangerous one. Take precautions for you and your loved ones’ safety, whether or not you choose to use legal fireworks in a DIY display. Fireworks can be enjoyable and fun, but only if proper measures such as donning protective eyewear, having a fire extinguisher at the ready, and keeping pets inside at home are taken. Finally, remember that it’s also a valid choice to skip the fireworks and enjoy other forms of entertainment on the 4th of July, if you so choose.
Have a happy and safe 4th of July!