Safety Tips for The Fourth of July

Independence Day falls on a Monday this year, which, for many people means a long weekend spent cooking out, watching fireworks displays, and splashing around at the beach. While a fun couple of days, this summer celebration is also rife with dangers.

Band of Blue wants you to enjoy a safe holiday with your friends and family. We’ve put together some helpful safety tips to ensure that you and your loved ones stay out of harm’s way.

Grill Safety

Each year, there are approximately 8,800 home fires as a result of outdoor grilling. It comes as no surprise that July is the month with the most grill fires, as more people cook out on Independence Day than any other day of the year. To practice proper grill safety:

Place the grill at least ten feet away from your home or any building.

  • Keep children and pets at least ten feet away from the grill area at all times.
  • Use baking soda to put out a grease fire (Never use water!).
  • Use long-handled tools to protect yourself from burns.
  • Never leave your grill unattended.

Fireworks Safety

A new federal report reveals that more Americans are being injured or killed by fireworks than ever before. In 2021 alone, more than 11,500 fireworks-related injuries were documented. This report, from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, outlines a 25% growth in firework-related injuries over a 15-year span from 2006 to 2021. Deaths have held even steadier. Each year, approximately 10 people die in fireworks-related incidents.

The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public firework show put on by professionals. However, if you feel confident in your ability to handle the pyrotechnics at home, follow these safety steps:

  • Keep fireworks away and out of reach from small children.
  • Never throw or point a firework toward people, animals, vehicles, structures or flammable materials.
  • Keep a supply of water close by as a precaution.
  • Make sure the person lighting fireworks always wears eye protection.
  • Light only one firework at a time. Do not attempt to relight a “dud.”
  • Store fireworks in a cool, dry place away from children and pets.
  • Use a firework only for its intended purpose. Always follow the instructions on the packaging.

Water Safety

Knowing how to swim is imperative to staying safe whenever you interact with water, whether on the beach, a waterpark, or a swimming pool. Be aware of your environment and the dangers it could present. For example, swimming in a lake or ocean is vastly different than swimming in a pool. Follow these steps to stay safe while swimming:

  • All children and inexperienced swimmers must wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets.
  • Watch the weather. Get out of the water at the first sign of lightning or rumble of thunder.
  • If swimming at a beach, only swim at beaches that have lifeguards.
  • Heed all signs and stay within designated swimming areas.
  • Swim sober and always with a buddy.
  • Protect your neck; never dive headfirst!
  • Walk or swim carefully into open water.
  • If you are caught in a rip current, try not to panic. Signal to those on shore that you need help. To escape the current, swim parallel to the shore.

Thank you for reading our Fourth of July safety tips. We hope everyone has a great holiday weekend!