Many families look forward to having fun and enjoying the company of friends and family on the Fourth of July, but unfortunately for some, this holiday can turn into a disaster. Every year, homes in New Hampshire sustain damage from wayward fireworks and thousands of people are injured in firework-related accidents. Review the following firework safety tips as you plan your Fourth of July festivities to ensure that you, your loved ones, and your property remain safe:
Protecting yourself and others
- It’s best to leave the firework displays to professionals to prevent injuries, but if you must use consumer fireworks, always follow instructions.
- Never attempt to re-light “duds” or create homemade fireworks.
- Children should never be allowed to handle or light fireworks. Even sparklers, which burn at more than 1,000 degrees, can cause third-degree burns. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, kids under the age of 15 account for approximately 40 percent of fireworks injuries.
- If children – even teenagers –are around fireworks, be sure that a responsible adult is always present. More than half of fireworks injuries happen to those younger than 20 years old.
Protecting your home
- According to the National Fire Protection Association, the best way to protect your home is to not use fireworks there.
- Remember that fireworks can also cause grass fires and other types of blazes. If lighting fireworks yourself, make sure you light them in a safe area, away from homes and buildings, as well as other combustible material. Keep a fire extinguisher nearby in case of emergency, and be sure you know how toproperly use it.
- Watch out for tree limbs or bushes that could catch fire. In general, it’s a good idea to trim vegetation to keep it away from your home, but this is especially true when using fireworks nearby, as it could prevent a catastrophic fire.
- Clean out your gutters before using fireworks near your home, especially if they have accumulated leaves, pine needles or other flammable material.
- Going away for the holiday? Ask a neighbor to keep an eye on your house if others in your neighborhood will be using fireworks.
With some common sense and planning, Fourth of July celebrations can be both safe and enjoyable for everyone. Whether you’re planning to be at home or away, all of us at Barton Insurance hope you have a great, safe time celebrating Independence Day!
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