The Fourth of July is a time for fun, but it's also a time to exercise caution. Fireworks, alcoholic beverages, and other popular forms of entertainment come with potential risks and safety concerns. Read through our safety tips to ensure a relaxed and uneventful holiday celebration.
1. Purchase Common Fireworks for Personal Use
Fireworks are typically split into two categories: special fireworks and common fireworks. Most fireworks available for consumer purchase fall into the common category. These include cones, fountains, sparklers, and similar devices.
Special fireworks are meant for professional displays. These fireworks typically involve a large explosion or detonation up in the air. Special fireworks shouldn't be for sale, but you can identify them by their large size and brown paper packaging. Don't purchase or use these fireworks without training and a license.
Remember to check if fireworks are legal in your neighborhood before you make your purchase. Fireworks are an extreme fire hazard in arid regions and are often banned for public safety.
2. Handle Fireworks with Care
All fireworks should be handled with adult supervision. Take extreme care and follow the basic rules of firework safety.
Read the instructions on the package before using any firework.
Light each firework one at a time.
After you light the fuse, back up to a safe distance. Do not place body parts near the explosion.
Don't let young children handle fireworks. Sparklers burn extremely hot and can cause serious injuries.
Do not attempt to re-light a firework that has failed.
Douse all spent and failed fireworks in a bucket of water.
Keep water and other fire retardants on hand in case of emergency.
3. Be Careful in the Pool
Swimming is a fun summer activity, but large holiday parties can be distracting. Remember that accidents can happen when we least expect them, so stay vigilant and pay as much attention in the pool as you would on any normal day.
Children should always be supervised while swimming. Small children should wear life vests and only swim within easy reach of an adult. A sober adult should keep an eye on the water at all times; if everyone is distracted, no one should be in the pool.
Floatation devices are great in case of an emergency. Always keep a few pool noodles or other inflatables in the water to help an exhausted swimmer.
4. Drink Alchohol Responsibly
Never drink and drive for any reason. If your holiday party will include alcoholic beverages, appoint a designated driver or ask guests to use a ride-sharing service. Have a place for guests to stay the night if they become too inebriated.
Do not mix drinking with fireworks, swimming, or other dangerous holiday activities. Bring the drinks out after the fireworks display, or ask the designated driver to light the fuse.
In conclusion, be mindful and responsible with your holiday entertainment. If anyone sustains an injury during or after your Fourth of July celebration, Stern Law Group will be glad to advise you on the potential legal repercussions and your best course of action moving forward. We wish you a safe and happy Fourth of July.