Fireworks and the Fourth of July go hand in hand. But, unfortunately, from mid-June to mid-July, so do fireworks and injuries.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, nearly 15,600 people were treated in hospital emergency departments for fireworks-related injuries in 2020. More than half of these injuries occurred in the month surrounding Independence Day. Hands and fingers were the most-injured body parts, followed by heads and eyes, and children were hurt more often than adults.
If you plan to use fireworks this Fourth of July, consider these tips for keeping you and your loved ones safe:
- Purchase only legal fireworks in the state in which you will use them.
- Read and follow the instructions for using fireworks safely.
- Don’t modify—or create your own—fireworks.
- Don’t stand directly over fireworks while lighting them.
- Don’t point or throw fireworks at people or animals.
- Don’t allow children to use fireworks unattended (or at all, if too young).
- Don’t carry fireworks in your pockets.
- Don’t light fireworks in a container.
- Don’t pick up or try to relight a firework that fails to ignite the first time.
Even sparklers, which seem relatively harmless, can be dangerous. They can reach well over 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit, can cause burns and easily can ignite clothing. Take personal safety seriously.
Fireworks are also responsible for more than 19,000 fires each year, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Of those fires, nearly 28% are reported on the Fourth of July.
To help protect your home and other property this coming holiday, consider these tips:
- Store vehicles inside a garage, if possible.
- Clear gutters, roofs and decks of leaves and other debris that could catch fire.
- Remove dead shrubs and water down any wood mulch surrounding your home or other buildings on your property. If the lawn is dry, consider turning on a sprinkler.
- Keep fireworks the recommended distance from buildings and people (consult the manufacturer’s instructions).
- Light fireworks on a flat, paved surface.
- Keep water or a fire extinguisher nearby in case of an accident.
- When done lighting fireworks, avoid causing a trash fire by saturating the debris with water before throwing it away.
What’s in Your Policy?
If you have questions or concerns about fireworks and your homeowners policy, now is a great time to talk with your broker or insurance provider and review your coverage. Hylant clients are welcome to contact their service team member anytime. If you aren’t yet a client but need homeowners insurance or would like us to review your current policy, contact us here.
Related Reading: Does Your Insurance Cover You if the Unexpected Happens?
The above information does not constitute advice. Always contact your insurance broker or trusted advisor for insurance-related questions.