For many of us, the 4th of July is an opportunity to celebrate our country’s independence in the company of our closest friends and family. And usually, these celebrations are not lackluster affairs!
Still, it only takes one careless move to turn a wild celebration into a dangerous situation. This Independence Day, keep our tips for your safety in mind.
In the state of Massachusetts, please remember that private use of fireworks is illegal, with potential fines ranging from $10 to $1,000. If you’re out of state, know your local laws and regulations, and use them responsibly.
- Your fireworks should come with instructions for use. Follow them.
- Don’t endanger yourself or another by misusing or combining different fireworks at the same time.
- Never light a firework unless it is facing away from you and your crowd.
- If you’re stuck in inclement weather, save the fireworks for another day.
- Have a fire extinguisher on standby, and be sure that it is designed to extinguish flames caused by your fireworks’ specific chemicals.
- Keep items like sparklers away from the skin, clothing, and flammable objects.
- Contact local authorities if you witness reckless behavior involving fireworks.
- For fire emergencies, contact your fire department immediately.
Temperature-wise, one of the coolest ways to spend the Fourth is on the water, but unless you’re careful, it can also be one of the most dangerous.
- Make sure anyone who is operating a boat or jetski is properly licensed.
- Wear a lifejacket in the water at all times.
- If you are operating motorized marine equipment, watch out for other boats and swimmers.
- Never operate a boat or jetski under the influence of alcohol.
- Do not enter the water to retrieve a struggling swimmer if you do not have your own life preserver.
- Have a first aid kit ready for emergencies.
- Contact local authorities if you witness reckless behavior on the water.
For children, the 4th of July is one of the most exciting times of the year; it’s not hard to blame them for getting a little carried away. That said, it’s in everyone’s best interest to keep them safe.
- Make sure the kids don’t wander off to unsafe areas alone.
- If it is established that they may go elsewhere, make sure they let an adult know where they are going, when they will be back, and how they can be reached in an emergency.
- Be sure the toys they are playing with are age-appropriate.
- Remind children to keep sparklers away from their faces, clothes, and hair, as well as other flammable objects.
For obvious reasons, many of our pets are frightened by loud noises and bright lights. Feeling threatened, some may respond to this fear with aggression. Others still might be prone to running away, where the animal could be harmed by someone or something else.
- Know your animal. Will your pet likely have a severe reaction to fireworks, or will it not mind at all? If you’re unsure, talk to your vet about options.
- If your dog is okay with being outside, keep your dog tied to a secure post to avoid unexpected mishaps.
- If your pet is especially frightened, prepare a quiet space indoors where your pet can remain as calm as possible, given the situation.
- If it can be arranged, consider taking your pet(s) to the quieter home of a friend or relative for the holiday.
Make some memories.
With these tips in mind, have a fun and safe 4th of July! Make sure it’s one you won’t forget.
Northeast Insurance Agency wishes you a safe and happy summer! We would love to hear from you! What favorite summertime activities do you and your family do? Share in the comments below.