Independence Day is a time to relax with friends and family, but it’s still important to be vigilant about fire safety. From fireworks to grills, there are plenty of opportunities for open flames to create a danger to both your loved ones and your property. As long as you know the risks and take steps to protect yourself, you can reduce the likelihood of injury and damage—two things that can cause you to file a home insurance claim.
5 Ways to Stay Safe on the Fourth & Avoid Home Insurance Claims
1. Fill Water Buckets
While many fireworks are safe, you never know if a spark will cause a fire or a product will malfunction upon ignition. Keep a bucket of water nearby any time you handle something hot, including fireworks. If you plan to light a bonfire for your Independence Day celebration, use the bucket to put out open flames at the end of the night. It’s also a good idea to have a garden hose and fire extinguisher handy as backup methods.
2. Supervise Firework Use
According to a 2015 report from the Consumer Product Safety Commission, 35% of all firework-related injuries seen in emergency rooms in 2014 involved children under the age of 15. All firework use should be supervised, particularly when young spectators are around or using sparklers. Not only does this protect your guests, but it also keeps you from having to file a liability insurance claim if someone is injured on your property.
3. Make a Clear Space for Grilling
Since grills are self-contained, many homeowners assume they are safe. However, when open flames come in contact with items like hanging branches, dry grass, or wood decks, the risk of a house fire increases. People can also injure themselves if they get too close to the hot surface. Insurance experts recommend setting the grill at least three feet away from your guests—and any flammable objects—to keep everyone safe.
4. Don’t Leave Fires Unattended
The Fourth of July is an exciting day, so it’s easy to get distracted. However, you need to make sure fires are completely extinguished at the end of the night, including bonfires, grills, and fireworks.
5. Never Relight Bad Fireworks
A firework that doesn’t work can be a big disappointment. It can be tempting to throw duds in the trash, but malfunctioning products still present an explosion or fire risk. Put these items in the water bucket to make sure they don’t reignite.
Following these tips makes it easy to have a fun, safe Fourth of July. If you do have a fire emergency during the holiday, clear the area and call for help as soon as possible. If the fire damages your property, document everything, so you have the information needed to file a claim with your home insurance carrier.