Independence Day - July 4th - is a fun holiday with fireworks, patriotism, barbecues and so much more. But with fun, often comes danger! Did you know Independence day is the holiday with the most fires? Fireworks (often coming into contact with decorations) are often a large culprit when looking at the causes of fires over the Independence Day holiday. Fire is just one of the many precautions you and our family can take for firework and decoration safety over the holiday. Read the following tips to keep you and your family safe from fireworks this July 4th. Tip #1 Have a fire extinguisher readily available. This way if there was an accidental fire, the fire can be put out quickly. Tip #2 If you have fireworks, have water buckets and a hose available. This is also important in the case that a fire becomes larger than a small extinguisher can take care of. Tip #3 Alcohol is a favorite of many for the holiday celebrations. However, it is important to keep alcohol away from children and animals and especially out of the hands with those that have fireworks. Alcohol causes judgement impairment and could lead to not only a fire, but other accidents including alcohol poisoning impaired driving, and much more. Be smart and limit your alcohol consumption during the 4th of July. Tip #4 When you are disposing of 4th of July decorations and fireworks, make sure that they are completely free of heat and fire. This way there will not be a smoldering fire happening after the party is over. Tip #5 Make sure that the area you are lighting fireworks off is also free of bushes, dry grass, trees, streamers, balloons, flammable helium, and other fire hazardous materials. Tip #6 Safety includes removing small pieces of balloons, fireworks, and other items that are able to choke small children. Tip #7 Stay away from illegal fireworks. They are illegal due to the increased danger involved with certain types of fireworks. Here is a list of the fireworks to avoid.
- Large re-loadable mortar shells
- Cherry bombs
- M-80 salutes
- Large firecrackers
Did you know that 44% of injuries related to fireworks happen to people under the age of 19? While sparklers may seem like a fun way to celebrate the day with friends and family, they could actually ruin the holiday, or even the rest of your summer. Fire department officials say they have more burns predominantly on young children, due to sparklers, than they see fires. Sparklers that people hand their children are approximately 1,300 degrees in temperature. It does not take much for a severe burn from a spark or accidental drop to burn your child. It’s very important for parents to understand the damage the can be done in just seconds by fireworks, particularly sparklers. Even more hazardous is if a sparkler makes contact with a child’s clothing. Young children are especially vulnerable to this. Not only do they not always have the fine motor control, but they also have really tender skin, and so if something happens and a spark falls or even a spent sparkler can remain hot for quite some time. Your best bet when it comes to fireworks on the 4th? Leave it to the pro's and watch from afar. We recommend that people go to the public displays. They are far more elaborate, they're far safer, and the people who are doing those public displays know what they're doing. Have a Happy 4th of July weekend!