Around Southwest Missouri in about a week---fireworks tents will start filling the empty parking lots, open fields, and seasonal sales areas. Growing up & even now, the 4th of July celebration was & still is one to anticipate. It's such an important day, but also so simple. It's a holiday with no presents, but plenty of delicious summertime food & quality time with those you love the most! As a child we would traipse across the field to my grandparents' house for an afternoon of swimming and a delicious meal before heading out to blow a few things up, always with safety at the front of our minds. My dad was always in charge of the fireworks purchasing, and that part hasn't changed a bit. The little kids from years ago now have their own little kids who enjoy the snakes & the chickens & the sparklers...but there are also plenty of big kids who want the BIG fireworks.
In the 30+ years that I know our family celebration has been happening, safety has always been #1. In the past few years we've started requiring safety goggles for anyone in charge of lighting, and we limit the number of those involved with the process, as most people opt to sit back and enjoy the show. Thankfully, no major mishaps have occurred---but that doesn't mean we haven't had a few situations where we were ever-thankful for our safety precautions.
When dealing with fireworks, safety truly has to be the #1 priority. Homes each year in Missouri are damaged by wayward fireworks, and thousands of people are injured in accidents. At Smart Insurance, we want your holiday to be happy, but also safe. So here are some tips to help you protect yourself and your property on the Fourth.
Protecting yourself (and others)
To minimize the risk of injury, don’t use consumer fireworks. Attend a public display conducted by professionals in Marionville or elsewhere.
If using consumer fireworks, always follow instructions. Do not attempt to re-light “duds” or create homemade fireworks.
Never let children handle or light fireworks. Even sparklers, which burn at more than 1,000 degrees, can cause third-degree burns.
A responsible adult should always be present when children - even teenagers - are around fireworks. More than half of fireworks injuries happen to those younger than 20 years old.
Protecting your home
According to the National Fire Protection Association, the best way to protect your home is to not use fireworks at home.
Remember, fireworks can cause grass fires and other types of blazes as well. Make sure you light fireworks in a safe area, away from homes and buildings, as well as other combustible material. Keep a fire extinguisher nearby in case of emergency.
Look out for tree limbs or bushes that could catch fire. Trimming vegetation to keep it away from your home is a good idea anyway, but it could save you from a catastrophic fire on the Fourth of July.
If your gutters have accumulated leaves, pine needles or other flammable material, clean them before using fireworks near your home.
Finally, if you won’t be home on the holiday, ask a neighbor to keep an eye on your house if others in your neighborhood will be using fireworks.
With some common sense and planning, the Fourth of July can be both safe and enjoyable for everyone. Whether you’re staying at home or heading to a lake or community celebration, we hope you have a wonderful time celebrating our independence!
For further questions and assistance, please contact Smart Insurance Agency at 417-258-2541 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Some content of this article provided by Safeco Insurance