While many people don’t think about the real meaning of Independence Day and the fact that this federal holiday celebrates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on this date in 1776, many people do enjoy getting a day off from work. For most, it is a day to relax, maybe enjoy a backyard barbecue with friends and neighbors, or attend a fireworks display.
If you live in a city that allows it, you may be planning on shooting off a few fireworks yourself for your children to enjoy. Regardless of what activities you and your family choose to engage in, having a few beers or drinks may be part of the plan as well.
At Grabel & Associates, we want you to enjoy a fun and relaxed holiday, but we also want you and your family to be safe this July 4th. Here are a few safety tips to keep in mind so that everyone enjoys a great time and can look forward to next Independence Day:
- First of all, have a fire extinguisher handy if you intend to set off fireworks. July 4th is a holiday widely known for fires, from small grass fires to homes. It’s also a good idea to have a water hose within easy reach.
- Choose a good location. Avoid areas where there are lots of trees, bushes, or dry grass. Also stay away from solvents, paints, and other chemicals that could be flammable or explosive.
- Smaller children often enjoy sparklers. It you let your young child use sparklers, he or she should stand and burn only one sparkler at a time. Teach your child not to throw a sparkler, run with it, or save it around in the air. After the sparkler burns out, place the stick and wire in a bucket of water – it remains hot even after the flame has extinguished.
- Read the caution label and use fireworks in the manner they were intended to be used.
- Do not use fireworks if it is not legal in your community.
- If you have a firework that is a “dud,” don’t attempt to relight it. Let it lay for at least 20 minutes before placing it in water to ensure it has gone out.
- Remember that fireworks and alcohol do not mix. Alcohol can impair your reasoning skills, so if your family is setting off fireworks, wait until after the show to enjoy an adult beverage or two.
- Supervise teenage children who are using fireworks.
- Always wear safety glasses when using fireworks.
- Avoid fireworks that are illegal, including large firecrackers, cherry bombs, and M-80 salutes. They are illegal for a reason!
- If your family is not lighting fireworks at home but instead going to a fireworks display, do not drink and drive. You may think a drink or two won’t hurt, but police will be on the lookout for any signs of drunk driving. If you get caught, it will result in fines, a suspended driver’s license, possible community service, or even jail time.
Drinking and driving just don’t mix, whether on a holiday or any other day of the year. Alcohol and fireworks can also be a deadly combination.
Keep the above safety tips in mind, and enjoy the long July 4th holiday weekend!