July 4th is just a couple of weeks away. Not only does it mark the anniversary of day we claimed our independence from England, back in 1776, it’s a day we unite together and celebrate. For Americans everywhere that usually includes two main activities: 1) grilling and 2) lighting fireworks. Each year, the number of fires and injuries from these is surprisingly great; the thing to keep in mind is that many of these related incidents could be avoided—with the proper safety measures.
To make the most of the Fourth of July, it’s crucial to follow some key tips to better protect yourself, family, friends, pets and property. Here is what we suggest:
There is no better or more fun way to prepare some food. Whether you are using a charcoal or a gas grill, there are certain fire hazards for each. Each year, there are approximately 9,000 grilling-related fires in the U.S. These account for about 140 injuries and property damage of about $100 million. Here’s how you can prevent any future grilling-related incidents:
• Allow a 3-foot grilling area, away from trees, bushes and other items that could catch on fire.
• Never leave the grill unattended. Prep in advance and have someone watch the grill if you have to step away.
• Ensure that kids and pets stay clear from the grilling area. After all, you don’t want anyone or anything getting burned!
• Only use grills outside. Using an outdoor grill indoors is just asking for trouble.
• Use proper grilling tools. This includes both grilling utensils and grilling mitts. Do not handle any hot food or surfaces without them.
• Always remember to turn off gas grills. You don’t want to leave the gas line running.
Practicing fireworks safety is necessary for obvious reasons. Fireworks can help start wildfires and can also catch people and/or wildlife on fire. Some states, like California (for instance) don’t permit anything other than public firework shows. But areas, like South Carolina, sell large fireworks that can quickly get out of hand… if someone other than professionals does them.
If you live in an area that permits doing fireworks on your own, please follow these fireworks safety tips for good measure:
• Make sure everyone keeps a good distance from fireworks being lit.
• Never relight a firework that’s believed to be a dud.
• Never point fireworks at people, cars, homes or other objects.
• Find an open area to light the fireworks.
• Always monitor children and make sure they are not given fireworks to do themselves.
• Keep all pets safely inside.
• Have either water or a fire extinguisher closely at hand.
Need more home safety tips? Check out these other ways to protect your home and family.