Celebrate Independence Day safely

A fireworks show is displayed during OpSail 2012 in Fort Trumbull in New London, Conn., Saturday, July 7, 2012, while the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Eagle is moored to a pier. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Diana Honings.

U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Diana Honings.

Independence Day is a highlight of the summer and for many people there’s a lot of excitement around setting off colorful fireworks and grilling outdoors. As you plan your Fourth of July celebration with family and friends, please consider the following safety tips from the U.S. Fire Administration to ensure your holiday is a safe one.

Fireworks – Leave them to the Pros
Sadly, every year there are many injuries and deaths caused by amateur firework use. The U.S. Fire Administration recommends leaving the fireworks to the professionals, and remember:

  • Sparklers are not toys. They can reach 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit – hot enough to melt some metals.
  • In case pieces of fireworks end up near you after an event, leave them alone. Some may still be ignited and can explode.
  • Stand several feet away from the professionals lighting fireworks; fireworks can backfire or shoot off in the wrong direction.


Remember to Grill Safely
By taking a few fire safety precautions when grilling, you can keep those around the grill safe:

  • Propane and charcoal grills must only be used outdoors. Using them indoors or in any enclosed spaces (such as tents), poses a fire hazard and a risk of exposing occupants to deadly carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Place the grill a safe distance from lawn games, play areas, and foot traffic. Grills should be positioned at least 10 feet away from siding, deck railing, and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
  • Keep, matches, lighters, and starter fluid out of the reach of children in a locked drawer or cabinet.


Click the image above for more information on wildfire prevention.

Click the image above for more information on wildfire prevention.

Campfire Safety
Campfires are the nation’s leading cause of children’s camping injuries and the primary catalyst for damaging forest fires.

  • Build campfires where they will not spread, away from dry grass and leaves.
  • Keep campfires small, and don’t let them get out of hand.
  • Keep plenty of water and a shovel around to douse the fire when you’re done. Stir it and douse it again with water.
  • Never leave campfires unattended.

Much like you do on or near the water everyday, lead by example in your community. Get smart on fireworks safety, cooking fire safety and wildfire prevention and share what you learn.

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