This week we kick off the Fourth of July holiday. From backyard barbecues to patriotic fireworks, the Fourth of July is filled with summertime fun and celebration. With all of the excitement that this holiday brings, it’s sometimes easy to lose focus on the importance of safety. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), July is the nation’s deadliest month and July 4th the most dangerous U.S. holiday thanks to the combination of extra travel, alcohol, and fireworks. Whether you’re traveling, outdoor grilling, heading to the pool, or watching fireworks, always be mindful of your surroundings and take the time to review all activities with a critical eye. If adding a few seconds or minutes of inspection can spare an accident or injury, then it’s well worth the time. Please review these Fourth of July holiday safety tips to help protect yourself, others and your property:
Protecting your Home
- Protect your home with the right homeowners insurance. Contact your agent for help finding the best policies. Make sure you have the right coverage for your lifestyle.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, the best way to protect your home is to not use fireworks at home.
Remember, fireworks can cause grass fires and other types of blazes as well. Make sure you light fireworks in a safe area, away from homes and buildings, as well as other combustible material. Keep a fire extinguisher nearby in case of emergency.
Look out for tree limbs or bushes that could catch fire. Trimming vegetation to keep it away from your home is a good idea anyway, but it could save you from a catastrophic fire on the Fourth of July.
If your gutters have accumulated leaves, pine needles or other flammable material, clean them before using fireworks near your home.
If you won’t be home on the holiday, ask a neighbor to keep an eye on your house if others in your neighborhood will be using fireworks.
- To minimize the risk of injury, don’t use consumer fireworks. Attend a public display conducted by professionals.
- If using consumer fireworks, always follow instructions. Do not attempt to re-light “duds” or create homemade fireworks.
- Never let children handle or light fireworks. Even sparklers, which burn at more than 1,000 degrees, can cause third-degree burns. Kids under the age of 15 account for approximately 40% of fireworks injuries, according to the U.S. Fire Administration.
- A responsible adult should always be present when children – even teenagers – are around fireworks. More than half of fireworks injuries happen to those younger than 20 years old.
- Be mindful of your pets. The loud noise can be scary for unsuspecting cats and dogs. Startled animals may run away from home. Keep your animals safe and secure to prevent any accidents.
- After using fireworks, dispose of them properly. Wait for the firework to cool and then soak it in water before disposing of it in the trash.
- For more helpful safety tips please visit the National Council on Fireworks Safety website.
- Establish the rules of the pool. No running, no diving, no roughhousing, and no swimming alone.
- Always keep watch around the pool and keep a flotation device nearby at all times.
- Kids are curious, and drains are dangerous. Keep kids away from any drains or pipes to avoid any accidents.
- Refrain from using cell phones while driving.
- Safely pull over and put the vehicle in park if you must make or take a phone call – or if you need to send or receive a text message.
- Always wear a safety belt and make sure other passengers do the same – every trip, every time.
- Have children sit in the back of the car and use the proper child safety seat or booster seat.
- Never leave a child or pet unattended in a vehicle, especially during hot weather.
- Don’t drink and drive. During the holidays Police routinely step up efforts to target impaired drivers through sobriety checkpoints and roving patrols. Be sensible and designate a non-drinking driver if you will be consuming alcohol.
With some common sense and planning, the holiday weekend can be both safe and enjoyable for everyone. Whether you’re staying at home or traveling, everyone here at Xtreme Home Improvement would like to wish you and your family a safe and fun 4th of July! If you experience a mishap resulting in property damage, you can count on us. Our Emergency Response team is available 24/7, 365 days a year.