Stay Safe This 4th of July with These Essential Tips
July 2, 2024 4 minute read

As we gear up to celebrate our nation’s independence, it’s easy to get swept up in the 4th of July fun and feel carefree. But the holiday is also a peak time for accidents and insurance claims. From 2018 to 2022, there were 2,228 traffic deaths during this period, with 39% involving drunk drivers. Fireworks injuries usually spike, with over 11,500 incidents reported in 2021 alone. We don’t want to be a Debbie Downer, but as you're planning your BBQ and fireworks, here are our tips for staying safe.

Fireworks Safety

Our first piece of advice is to enjoy professional fireworks displays rather than setting off your own. Let’s be honest, they’re safer but they are generally more impressive too. But if you do choose to set off fireworks, be sure to have a fire extinguisher and a water source ready just in case. Some towns have restrictions on fireworks due to fire risks, so make sure you follow your local laws and only set off fireworks if it's legal in your area.

If you’re using sparklers, make sure you also have a bucket of water close by and follow basic safety tips like holding the sparkler at arm’s length while it’s lit and not waving it close to other people.

Sparklers burn at extremely high temperatures and can be particularly risky for children. Here’s a fun, practical tip for keeping kids’ hands safe while using sparklers:  Poke a hole in a plastic cup. Have the child hold the unlit sparkler, then place the cup over the sparkler through the hole. Make sure the cup is completely covering the child's hand. Take the sparklers outside, light, and enjoy!

Travel Tips

If you’re traveling for the holiday, give your car a thorough check before you hit the road. Look at the tires, brakes, fluids, lights, and wipers. Every car should have an emergency kit that includes a first-aid kit, flashlight, extra batteries, water, snacks, jumper cables, basic tools, and a phone charger. If you’re on a long drive, make sure to take regular breaks to avoid fatigue. Tired driving can be just as dangerous as drunk driving.

Grill Safely

If you’re hosting a barbecue, set up your grill at least 10 feet away from your house, deck railings, and any low hanging branches. Never leave your grill unattended and always keep a fire extinguisher nearby. Avoid using lighter fluid or gasoline. Use a charcoal chimney starter or electric starter instead. Finally, it’s a good idea to regularly clean your grill to prevent grease fires. Built-up grease can catch fire unexpectedly.

Home Protection

If you’re going to be away during the holiday, it’s smart to spend an extra few minutes securing your home. Make sure all doors and windows are locked and set timers on your lights to make it look like someone is home. We recommend letting a trusted neighbor know you’ll be away. They can keep an eye on your place and collect your mail or packages. Finally, if you have a security system, make sure it’s on and working properly.

With these tips, we wish everyone a fantastic (and safe) 4th of July! If you have any questions about your coverage, give us a call today!

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