July 1, 2021

Safety Tips for the Fourth of July

Fireworks, cookouts, freedom, and family and friends — sounds like a great way to celebrate America’s birthday. However, with the celebrations comes responsibility. There are a number of potential accidents that could occur during or after the Fourth of July parties, such as car and firework accidents. Whether you’re relaxing in the backyard or enjoying a local parade, remember to follow these safety tips for the Fourth of July.

Take the keys.

If your family and friends have had a lot to drink, take the keys. Drunk driving and fireworks accidents make the Fourth of July one of the deadliest days of the year. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 1,339 drivers were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes over the Fourth of July weekend from 2015 to 2019. Of the 1,339 fatalities, approximately 38% were caused by drunk driving. It’s never worth it to risk lives — if your guests plan to drink, make a plan in advance to coordinate a sober ride home. If you don’t and your guest causes harm to himself or another, you may be liable under Social Host Liability laws.

Keep children safe.

During a cookout, there are a number of potential hazards that could harm a child. Grills become very hot and children are curious — always keep them away from the grilling area. If you and your children are spending most of the day outdoors, on the water, or by the pool, remember to liberally apply sunscreen, set water safety rules, and supervise. Finally, never leave children unattended with sparklers or small consumer fireworks. While sparklers are generally considered safe, they still become very hot and can cause burns.

Always use fireworks safely.

Consumer fireworks are not legal in all states. Follow your local rules to determine if you can purchase and use consumer fireworks during your celebrations. While fireworks can be magical, but they can also be dangerous. If you purchase consumer fireworks for your celebrations, remember to always have a bucket or body of water close by in case the fireworks malfunction or misfire. Remember to never reignite fireworks if they malfunction — dispose of them properly!

Keep your pets safe, too.

Your pets are a part of your family — you should keep them safe too! Avoid bringing your pets to crowded areas during fireworks shows as even the calmest of pets can become stressed, anxious, and even aggressive with loud noises. Also, consider taking your pet out for some exercise during the day. A long run or a fun play session with other pets can help reduce stress and anxiety when the fireworks start at night.

Never leave alcoholic beverages unattended where pets can reach them — most pets are curious and alcohol can potentially poison your furry friends. Always keep matches, lighter fluid, and fireworks away out of reach, too. If even unused, fireworks can pose a danger to animals as many contain potentially toxic substances.

This summary is for general informational use only and may not include all relevant information.