Celebrating Independence Day is the perfect time to have a barbeque, hang out around the pool, spend time at the beach, or head out of town. Making sure that all of these activities are done safely is important to ensure accidents are avoided, damage is prevented, and that your plans can continue uninterrupted.
If you think that safety can be lax on Independence Day, consider the following statistics:
- Fireworks are completely prohibited for consumer use in three states. In other states, laws surrounding fireworks vary, so it is important to know what is allowed in your Northern Illinois neighborhood, and what is forbidden. Regardless of the type of fireworks you can use in your state, it is extremely important to have safety measures in place in case problems occur during the firework display.
- 67% of annual firework injuries in the United States occur within the month of July. On average, 800 people will head to the emergency room with fireworks-related injuries during this month each year.
- In 2017, eight deaths and over 12,000 injuries were reported due to fireworks. Of these injuries, 67% took place between June and July 16th. Fireworks also start an average of 18,500 fires each year.
- In addition to fireworks, July Fourth presents other safety concerns. 400 people are killed in car accidents on July Fourth each year.
How can you keep yourself, your friends and family, and your property safe during America’s birthday? Let’s take a look.
Sparkler and Fireworks Safety
As we discussed earlier, fireworks are a top cause of accidents around the Fourth of July. To keep fireworks safe for everyone, from Grayslake to Oak Park, use these tips.
- Supervise children as they use sparklers and NEVER allow them to handle fireworks.
- Do not point any type of firework at yourself or others.
- Keep water or sand nearby to use as an extinguisher for any flames that may occur.
- Do not attempt to relight a firework if it does not work the first time. This can cause a larger explosion than intended.
- Never light fireworks near your home, garage, building, or other structures that can catch fire.
- If you feel a situation is getting unsafe and can leave the premises, do so.
Grill Safety Tips
During a backyard barbeque or a park picnic, grilling is a common Fourth of July meal. Stay safe by using these suggestions.
- Clean the grill before you use it. If you are using a gas grill, check the gas lines for any leaks.
- If you own a rental property with community grills, make sure they are clean and in good repair before the busy summer season.
- Never leave a grill unattended when it is lit.
- Always follow manufacturer directions when using your grill.
- When the grill is lit, keep it at least 10 feet away from any structures including homes, decks, or railings. Make sure the grill is sitting on a stable surface so it will not fall over.
- If you own a rental property, make sure that your tenants understand what grill types are permitted for their use and how to operate them safely at your property.
- Be ready to extinguish any grease fires by using baking soda, sand, or a fire extinguisher. NEVER use water on a grease fire!
Trying to beat the heat? Swimming is a great way to stay cool, but stay safe in the pool!
- If you have a personal pool, make sure your pool chemicals are at proper levels. The filtration system and circulation must be up and working in proper order.
- Have a family member as the designated “lifeguard” for any children that will be using the pool. Never leave kids unattended while they are swimming.
- Create rules for the pool – no diving, running, or playing around the filter drains.
- One person should be trained in CPR in case of an emergency.
- Install a foldable or removable ladder that can be easily taken out of the pool when no one is around and the pool is not in use to keep guests away from the water.
Additional Safety Tips
When family and friends gather in a group for the holiday, there are other areas to watch out for where you need to stay alert and safe.
- Drink responsibly and do not drink and drive. If you plan on drinking when you are away from home, have a plan for rides to and from the party before drinking. If you do not have a ride, consider staying over at the party site.
- Watch out for the safety of other guests. If you notice a potential accident waiting to happen, speak up quickly – you never know what you might be preventing.
- Be aware of bugs. It sounds silly, but during the summer wasps and bees are running rampant in some areas of the country. Always check cans and bottles before drinking to avoid drinking one of stinging insects.
Even if you follow all of the safety precautions listed, disasters and accidents can still happen. At McMahon Services we are here to help you if your Chicago area property is struck by fire damage during the holiday season. Our fire damage restoration services can handle all your needs from the restoration of contents through structural reconstruction and everything in between.