Safety Precautions To Remember This 4th Of July

Photo by Trent Yarnell on Unsplash

Happy Independence Day to my American readers. May your day be filled with happy memories with friends and family, and may no harm fall upon anyone when it comes to fireworks. While this is a massive holiday for a lot of people (talk about shelling out $$$ for an occasion) I have never been too fond of this day. I love what the day represents, but when it comes to fireworks, I enjoy watching them from far, far away. My brother, on the other hand, would love to spend thousands on blowing up any and every firecracker he can get his hands on.

Whether you love fireworks or hate them, you still need to be safe around this time of year. Too many times I have seen or heard a friend hurt themselves or someone else doing something relatively stupid. Mistakes happen, just make sure you try to keep as many mistakes away from this day as possible.

Check for pedestrians/cars when lighting fireworks
A lot of people let off fireworks in streets, which is perfectly fine (if your town allows it)! However, make sure all kids and grownups remember to check for people or cars before letting something off.  Too many times I have seen a launcher go off right as a car was about to drive down the street. This little precaution can save a lot of hassle! Also, if you are the one behind the wheel make sure to slow down in town and be aware of any potential fireworks that are going off.

While everyone should be watching for cars, kids sometimes let all rules go out the window when they get excited (and this is a day of excitement). Even if you don’t see fireworks in the street, you should still try to be aware of any kids that might potentially run out. If you are unable to stop when a child jumps out, then you are going too fast in town.

Give at least a 10-second rule
To everything on this day (well, close to everything). If a firework just went off wait 10 seconds before picking it up. If a firework was lit but did not go off wait AT LEAST 10 seconds before going near it and make sure to always have an adult present if a kid goes near the firework. Most accidents come from this simple error in judgment. While it might seem like a dud, there is always the possibility that it has a delayed start and could potentially harm anyone near it.

Photo by Eric Han on Unsplash

Use proper lighting techniques
When you buy fireworks, you also get several little sticks that come with them. These sticks are known as ‘punks’ and are used to aid in lighting fireworks. Usually long in size, you light them once, and they continue to slowly burn throughout the day (kind of like a slower version of incense). Definitely make sure all children use this when lighting fireworks, and it doesn’t hurt for you to use them as well!

Fireworks are named this for a reason. They are unpredictable in nature and, while the fuse shouldn’t make it go off immediately, these things have occurred. Using a punk keeps a little space between you and the small little bomb you are letting go off.

Have a bucket of water on hand
Or just a hose that is turned on. Most of my friends keep a bucket to put dead and used fireworks into. This ensures they will not randomly go off and blow a bystanders foot off. Plus, if things go badly (which occasionally happens), it never hurts to have water to squash a fire before it turns too big to handle. One year we had a firework go off in a neighbor’s tree, and the fire department was called to help.

While this was unavoidable, there are a lot of fireworks that usually spin off and land in a yard where they could have enough spark to set the lawn aflame. If you are prepared for this, it will make the night go a lot smoother!

Be ready for anything!
All in all, you should just be a little more aware and cautious on this day. Yes, have fun and blow things up if that is what you want! Precautions shouldn’t slow things down but make sure everyone has a good time. Make sure there is an available car to drive in case an ER visit becomes necessary, light fireworks away from the watching fans, and keep the SPF on hand (a usual routine we should always be ready for).

It is a fun day when no one loses a hand or an eye. This might seem a little severe for a typical day but on Independence Day this is something we should truly be keeping an eye out for. Risk taking can be fun and adventurous but not when you are potentially lighting an explosive (which is what most fireworks are).


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