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Red, White, and Safety: Essential Fourth of July Safety Tips

5 min read
In This Article

As we gear up for this upcoming holiday weekend it is important to keep certain precautions in mind to have a memorable and accident-free festivities. At HMI, safety is our top priority, both within our shop and out on the field. Whether you are going to spend time at the cabin, enjoying activities by the water, or grilling up a storm, this article is packed full of valuable tips to help make the most of your celebrations while keeping safety at the forefront!

Sparkler and Fireworks Safety

Each year, fireworks contribute to over 19,000 fires. To ensure a safe celebration, it’s essential to take proper precautions when handling fireworks. Follow these guidelines:

  • Avoid disassembling or try to make your own fireworks
  • Never aim sparklers, or fireworks at yourself or others, especially when lighting them
  • Only light fireworks on the ground and in areas that are dry and fire-resistant
  • Refrain from igniting multiple fireworks at the same time
  • Keep fireworks out of the reach of young children to prevent firework-related injuries
  • Always have a portable fire extinguisher close by, along with a water hose or buckets of water nearby to put out fires
  • Keep fireworks out of the reach of young children to prevent firework-related injuries
  • Resist the urge to bring your dog to a fireworks display. The safest place for them is at home where it’s familiar, quiet, and not crowded
  • Keep in mind to have a portable fire extinguisher and a water hose or buckets of water close at hand to extinguish any fires that may arise
  • Douse and soak malfunctioning fireworks with water, then throw them away
  • If fireworks malfunction, don’t relight them

To prevent firework-related injuries, it is crucial to never allow young children to handle fireworks or sparklers. Sparklers can cause severe burns if mishandled. Consider these alternative options instead of sparklers for your children’s enjoyment:

  • Glow sticks
  • Confetti canon or poppers
  • Colorful streamers
  • Silly string
  • A light-up laser show or digital fireworks projection

Water and Pool Activity Safety

As July is one of the hottest months of the year, many families turn to water activities to beat the heat. However, even fun water activities have serious risks if you don’t take the proper precautions. Follow these guidelines to ensure water safety:

  • Review safe boating practices
  • Never consume alcohol while driving a boat
  • Before boating, always check that there are enough life preservers on hand for every passenger
  • Set water safety rules for your family, especially if there’s a young child
  • Keep a readily available first aid kit near the pool

Grilling Safety

  • Check gas grill hoses for cracks, holes, and leaks
  • Keep children away from grills. Gas leaks, blocked tubes, and propane tanks can cause grill fires and explosions
  • Never attempt to grill indoors, in the garage, in any enclosed area, or on any outdoor equipment that might easily catch fire

Keep the grill at least two feet away from decks, siding, branches, and any outdoor equipment that can catch fire quickly

Kids and Teen Safety

Children can be more susceptible to loud noises, heat, sun, and insects than adults. A child can also become anxious, over-stimulated, or exhausted during Fourth of July festivities.

National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) found an increase in drunk driving around the 4th. Your teens should be cautious when driving during Independence Day festivities.

Ear care

Fireworks can be 150 to 175 decibels, so, ear protection is essential for developing ears.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), you shouldn’t expose children to decibels over 85. Consider using earplugs or headphones to help protect your children’s hearing during fireworks displays.

Heat care

Heat exhaustion or heat stroke can happen with too much sun exposure, especially as the temperature rises. Children are especially vulnerable to overheating.

  • Ensure that you bring plenty of water for your kids.
  • Dress children in light-colored, lightweight, and loose clothing.
  • Be on the lookout for signs that your child is overheating and bring them inside if they become too hot.


Outside celebrations come with many considerations for your kids and teens. Ensure that your children protect their skin from sun, heat, and bugs.

  • The Skin Cancer Foundation has these sunscreen recommendations:
    • Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before going out into the sun.
    • Re-apply every two hours or if you’ve been exposed to excessive water or sweat.
      • Use a broad-spectrum SPF of 30 or higher.
    • Don’t forget to apply insect repellent!

Pet Safety

The safest place for your pets is at home where it’s familiar, quiet, and comfortable. You should also be on the lookout in the days leading up to Independence Day since many people shoot off fireworks a few days before and after July 4th.

  • Ensure your pet’s microchip and ID tags have the correct information. If your pet isn’t microchipped, now is the time to do it! IDs are added to insurance and can help you find your pet if a neighbor grabs them. Microchipping can help you if your pet escapes and is dropped off at a vet or shelter.
  • Fill your pets’ prescriptions before July.
  • Tire out your animals, either with exercise or play.
  • Watch out for signs of heat stroke during the day. And always make sure your pup has a shaded area to escape the sun
  • If you know you will be away from home during the 4th of July, consider hiring a pet sitter or getting a friend to keep an eye on your pup
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