Tomorrow is Independence Day, which means it’s time to grill out with friends and family and celebrate being a citizen in the United States. There are plenty of ways to celebrate the day, from cookouts to taking in a fireworks show with your loved ones. No matter your plans for the day, it’s important to consider fire safety, as the number of household fires increases this time of year between the hot weather, hot grills, and fireworks. Since the personal use of fireworks has been legalized in Iowa, it’s more important now than ever to make sure you’re exercising fire safety while you celebrate! Take these tips into consideration to make sure your 4th is a fun one that’s memorable for the right reasons.

Always Grill Safely

This applies to all times of the year, but it’s especially important to consider on windy days and months when the weather is hotter and drier than usual. Whether you’re grilling at home or in a park, always be sure to check your grill’s stability before lighting it to avoid charcoal or propane fires. Once the grill is hot, make sure that it is never left unattended. During an all-day cookout, it’s easy to forget the grill is hot when food is being cooked throughout the day. Always make sure someone is keeping an eye on it so that you can avoid injuries and unwanted flames!

Watch the Weather Before Lighting Fireworks

If your plans for the 4th involve lighting off fireworks, be sure to keep an eye on the weather before you light them. Even if you have your fireworks all ready to set off, if the weather is too windy or is changing direction a lot, it’s unsafe to light them off. If there is a breeze, make sure it is blowing away from you and the people watching the fireworks, and make sure the wind isn’t switching directions. It is a bummer to have to cancel your show, but it’s much safer than having to deal with the aftermath of a home fire due to unsafe fireworks.

Use Common Sense: Don’t Drink and Light Off Fireworks

Having a few drinks is a part of many 4th of July parties, and it can be a great way to relax on your day off. If you’re having drinks as a part of your celebration and also plan to light off fireworks, make sure that the person handling the fireworks hasn’t been drinking. Setting off fireworks responsibly requires extra caution, and it’s more difficult to follow the safety precautions necessary to put on a fireworks show without endangering yourself and others if you’ve consumed alcohol. Make sure you have a designated fireworks lighter at the ready! If you don’t have a designated lighter, don’t shoot them off!

What to Do In Case of a Fireworks House Fire

Even when you follow the necessary precautions, fireworks can sometimes be unpredictable. If you experience an unexpected fire when you’re shooting off your fireworks, follow these steps to minimize the damage and keep your party safe:

    1. Be prepared to put out a fire
      Since fireworks sometimes have a mind of their own, it’s important to have someone ready with a hose or an extinguisher in case you need to put out a rogue firework. Being ready to put the fire out will minimize the potential spread of flames.
    2. Call in first responders
      If the fire is too large to put out by yourself, know when to call in the fire department. Calling professionals immediately will help you put out the fire faster and give your home a chance from burning down entirely.
    3. Call ServiceMaster by Rice
      After the fire is put out, contact our professionals to assess the fire and smoke damage to your property. If the fire has touched your home or property, we offer fire cleanup services. We can protect your building from further weather damage after it has been harmed by a fire or smoke and treat the damaged surfaces in your home to prevent them from corroding further.

Following these steps will help you to have a safer and happier 4th of July! If you do happen to experience a residential fire over the holidays, please call our team right away and we’ll help you assess what can be done to minimize the damage with efficient fire damage repair. We specialize in fire restoration across Iowa and southern Minnesota and can help your home bounce back after a disaster.