The Fourth of July is right around the corner! As the first holiday of the summer season, many people can be found celebrating with backyard barbecues, fireworks, or water fun.
A federal holiday since 1870 and paid federal holiday since 1941, celebrations date back to the American Revolution and July 4th, 1776, when the Declaration of Independence was signed. This is a day to unite as an independent country and celebrate with family and friends. Perlo will be observing the 4th of July Holiday and our offices and jobsites will be closed. We’d like to take this time to wish you all a happy and safe holiday with some tips to keep your families and communities protected as we celebrate.
The year 2020 broke the record for the number of injuries related to fireworks, making it the highest in the last 15 years, with even worse consequences if handled incorrectly.
In addition to being a safety hazard to humans, fireworks are also known for their catastrophic impacts on our wildlife and residences by causing wildfires and burning nearby homes. According to the NFPA, 2018 saw an estimated 19,500 fires reported to fire departments across the country. More than ¼ of these fires were started on the Fourth of July.
If you’re planning to celebrate with fireworks, take note of the following precautions:
- Never give fireworks to small children, and never throw or point a firework toward people, animals, vehicles, structures, or flammable materials. Always follow the instructions on the packaging.
- 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 and never attempt to relight “a dud.”
- Store fireworks in a cool, dry place away from children and pets.
Keep in mind that firework noise can be disturbing to animals. More pets go missing on the Fourth of July weekend than any other time of year, primarily because of fireworks. Visit the AKC’s website for tips to prepare your pet for the weekend.
Many of us spend time outside cooking up hot dogs, burgers and more. However, fires caused by grilling are responsible for over 10,000 home fires on average in the U.S. and can cause additional safety related incidents to humans.
To avoid accidents, review the following tips:
- Always supervise a barbecue grill when in use. Don’t add charcoal starter fluid when coals have already been ignited.
- Never grill indoors—this includes your house, camper, tent, or any enclosed area.
- Make sure everyone stays away from the grill, including children and pets.
- Keep the grill away from the house or anything flammable.
- Use the long-handled tools especially made for cooking on the grill.
It’s also best to have a supply of water nearby, and don’t ‘drink and grill’, as alcohol can impair your ability to think clearly and stay safe.
Every year in the U.S. there are unintentional incidents related to water safety, with the 4th of July holiday ranking as one of the most hazardous weekends in boating season resulting in the US Coast Guard suggesting extreme caution while out on the water.
Before you get out on the water, follow the tips below to make sure you and your family stay safe:
- Talk to your children, including older youth and teenagers, about water safety.
- If you choose to take your family to the water, make sure the area is designated for swimming. Rivers and lakes can present sudden drop-offs, underwater hazards such as snags or rocks, and heavy currents.
- Designate a ‘water watcher’ whose sole responsibility is to supervise people during any in-water activity until the next person takes over.
- Be responsible, exercise good judgement, and never swim alone.
- Wear floatation devices while boating and never consume alcohol while operating a boat.
As you celebrate this weekend, please stay safe. Our communities thrive when families and friends have a good time and make it home whole and uninjured. From our Perlo family to yours, have a happy and safe 4th of July!