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As we are quickly approaching the celebration of our nation’s birth, it is a great idea to think about safety. With backyard bar-b-ques, swimming pools, fun on the lake and fireworks – there is plenty of room for error.

The 4th of July is not only a fun tradition, but it is also the holiday with the most fires. That makes sense as we all love fireworks. But the damage from fires on the 4th is roughly more than $35-million a year. That’s a lot of fire, and unfortunately, loss of life and property.

The fires are in large part due to fireworks and decorations that are accented with fireworks. This is expensive for the insurance companies, but more importantly for families who lose everything; and not everything can be replaced.

So here are some things to keep in mind as you get set for your celebrations, whether they are in your backyard, your neighborhood, or on a much larger scale – be safe:

Keep a fire extinguisher readily available.

Keep water buckets and a hose at hand; this is in case the fire is more than the extinguisher can handle.

Be responsible when drinking alcoholic beverages.

Some decorations have small parts that are dangerous to animals and young children, so keep them out of reach.

When disposing of fireworks and decorations, make sure that they are completely free of heat or fire.

When decorating the area where fireworks will be set off, it is important to make sure that the decorations are a safe distance from the fireworks. Rope off the area where the actual fireworks will be lit.

Ensure that the fireworks area is free of dry grass, bushes, trees, streamers, helium and other fire hazardous materials.

Don’t forget that your pets also need to be protected from the dangers of fireworks. Keep them inside your home or safely tucked away when the fireworks show is happening.

A lot goes into making a fun and memorable 4th of July celebration, so have fun, be safe, and enjoy the holiday!

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