As flags are raised and firework tents pop up in grocery store parking lots across the nation, it’s a perfect time to discuss safety.

Yes, I’m that person.

Okay, but really. The celebration of our nation’s birth should be a time of laughter, grilled burgers and blaring patriotic music—not injuries, fires, and hospital visits.

4th of July safety. Here we go.

  1. Keep grills away from your home and deck, as well as eaves and overhanging branches. Remove grease fat buildup and check for cracks, holes, or leaks in the hoses of a gas grill. Letting these go can lead to explosions. Not good.
  2. Set off fireworks outside in a fire resistant place, such as a driveway. Make sure you’re a safe distance from buildings and people. This may go without saying, but read the warning labels and don’t let children handle explosives.
  3. Don’t try to light more than one firework at once, no matter what size they are. Usually, it’s also best to limit children to a 1-sparkler-at-a-time rule, though this isn’t as hard-and-fast a precaution as the previous one.
  4. Don’t relight a dud firework. Wait 20 minutes before picking it up, and then stick it in a bucket of water. These kind of fireworks have been known to randomly explode when you aren’t expecting it, which can lead to some disastrous results!
  5. Stay away from homemade fireworks or those wrapped in brown paper (this is usually a sign of something made for a professional show). I’m just going to assume for the sake of this post, of course, that you’re not a firework professional. If you are, more power to you. Do you have room for one more at your party?
  6. Always remain standing while holding sparklers, and remember to drop them in water when they burn out. The metal can remain hot for a long time. And remember not to light sparklers while holding children or standing near pets!
  7. After the celebration, check your yard for firework debris before letting pets back outside. Also, while the show is going on, make sure to keep pets confined away from the area where explosives are being lit.

With these tips in mind, you’re well on your way to a safe and exciting holiday. Happy Independence Day!

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