Independence Day is right around the corner, which means now’s the time to start making your plans! Fireworks, cookouts, and time with family is the traditional celebration from one coast to another. While the 4th should be a time filled with fun and laughter, it all too often becomes a time filled with danger and injury. Use these tips to help keep your family safe this 4th.

Leave it to the Professionals

Firework displays should be left to the professionals. Every town has their own firework display that’s typically free to watch. Grab a blanket, sit outside, and enjoy the show! Professional fireworks take the danger out of the 4th and still allow you to have all the fun. If you insist on setting off fireworks yourself, the next tip is for you.

Firework Safety

Setting off fireworks is something that needs to be taken very seriously. Never ignite fireworks if you’re under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Make sure you have a safe distance from any nearby people and houses. Don’t hold the firework when you ignite it, and most importantly, only set off one firework at a time. If a firework doesn’t go off when you try to ignite it, don’t attempt it a second time. Fireworks need to be purchased through an established retailer that only sells legal and regulated fireworks. The person igniting the fireworks should wear safety goggles and keep a safe distance after lighting each firework. If you can, find someone who’s experienced and confident with the process of lighting fireworks.

Keeping Children Safe

Children love fireworks, but they also love sparklers! The handheld show is cheap and easy fun for kids, but it isn’t as harmless as it seems. Sparklers burn at up to 2,000 degrees. If they touch your child’s clothing, it can catch on fire, and if it affects their skin, they’ll suffer a severe burn. Adults should be close by anytime a child is using a sparkler. Keep them in well-fitted clothing and discuss the dangers of the sparklers with them. It isn’t that they can’t have fun, but they need to understand how careful they need to be.
Always keep a phone nearby and ready to call 911 in case there’s a mishap with fireworks or sparklers. If you’re igniting fireworks, use a bucket of water to extinguish any that don’t go off fully. Independence Day should be a time for an exciting show, not a hospital visit!