Fourth of July will be a long weekend of picnics with friends and family, parades and fireworks demonstration to celebrate our country’s 239th birthday. The holiday is always a lot of fun, but it can also be very dangerous due to mishandling and misuse of fireworks and improper grilling techniques. The Consumer Product Safety Commission conducted a study between June 20th and July 20th 2014 on the injuries caused by fireworks. The study found that 230 people on average go to the emergency room during that time with fireworks related injuries with over 50% of these injuries listed as burns. 74% of those injured were men! The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) put out a report stating that more fires were reported on Independence Day than any other day of the year! Fireworks accidents account for 2 out of 5 of these reported fires.
Fourth of July also is a popular time for picnics and barbeques. It is very important to be just as diligent in safety preparations for these activities as you are for fireworks safety. ezStorage wants to keep your family safe this holiday weekend by sharing fireworks and grilling safety tips to keep your family and home safe!
Fireworks Safety Tips
There are many Fourth of July celebrations in the Baltimore and Washington D.C. areas from parades, festivals and fireworks displays. It is recommended to attend public fireworks shows put on by professionals. If you do plan on setting off fireworks, there are important fireworks safety tips that need to be followed.
1. Obey all local laws pertaining to fireworks and displaying fireworks. Some states, including Delaware, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York do not allow amateur fireworks.
2. Children should not be allowed to play with fireworks, including sparklers. Keep the children and pets at least 500 feet away from where fireworks are being shot off.
3. Keep pets indoors if you are setting off fireworks. They could become agitated with the sights, sounds, and smells of fireworks.
4. Only use fireworks outside. Do not use pyrotechnics inside a building.
5. Have a hose, a bucket of water and a fire extinguisher on hand for emergency situations. Soak all of the fireworks after use in a bucket of water before throwing them in a metal thrash can.
6. Point fireworks away from homes. Keep fireworks away from trees and brush as these materials are extremely flammable.
7. Light one firework at a time. Never relight a dud firework. Make sure to properly dispose of the dud firework in water before depositing in a metal container.
8. Do not use sparklers while sitting down and never throw them when they are lit. Also, teach children to not run when they are holding sparklers.
4th of July Grilling Safety Tips
According to another report by the National Fire Protection Association, between 2007 and 2011, there was an average of 8,800 home and outside fires. It is very important to be prepared and safe when using grills, both propane and charcoal.
1. Propane and charcoal barbeque grills should only be used outdoors. The grill should be placed away from the home, deck railings and overhanging branches. Clear away flammable debris that is near the area where the grill is placed. Make sure that the grill is placed in a well-ventilated area and is firmly in place and stable (cannot be tipped over).
2. Never leave a grill unattended.
3. Keep children and pets at least 3 feet away from the grill.
4. For charcoal grills-if you use starter fluid to enhance or start the fire, use only charcoal starter fluid. Do not add any other flammable fluids to the fire.
5. When you are finished using the charcoal grill, let the coals completely cool before depositing them in a metal container.
6. Propane tank grills-before using the grill for the first time in the season, check the tank hoses for leaks. If you smell gas while cooking on the grill, immediately get away from the grill and call the fire department. Do not move the grill!
7. Use long-handled utensils when cooking on a grill to avoid burns and splatters.
8. Do not wear loose fitting clothing near the open flame of a grill. Use flame –retardant mitts when adjusting hot vents and grills.
ezStorage hopes that you enjoy your Fourth of July celebrations! Our self storage locations in Baltimore, Northern Virginia and Washington D.C. offices will be closed but will have normal gate access during the 4th of July holiday. The Charles Village office will be open 9am to 5pm with gate access available at the same time.