Summer season is typically synonymous with backyard barbecues and firework displays. And while the urge is to kick back, barefoot and fancy-free, it’s important to keep safety in mind. The 2020 summer season takes typical summer fire safety and raises it by one global pandemic. As a result, many are left scratching their heads when it comes to how to celebrate this Fourth of July. Perhaps you’ve already heard a few fireworks pop off for Memorial Day or Juneteenth, and maybe it has made you cautiously optimistic for celebrating the Fourth of July in traditional fashion. To help you make the safest decisions this Independence Day, we’ve compiled a quick list of do’s and don’ts.
If your local town or city is still able to pull off a firework display, by all means attend. Exercise Covid-19 safety by wearing a mask and allowing the recommended six feet between yourself and others who are not in your party. Even better? Watch the fireworks from the trunk of your car, your porch, or even a personal rooftop if it’s safe and accessible.
According to the NFPA, sparklers account for about one-quarter of all emergency room visits. Sparklers, often given to children and seen as the most innocent of consumer fireworks, can burn at over 1200 degrees Fahrenheit. To give some context, glass melts at 900 degrees Fahrenheit. Aside from personal injury, consumer fireworks do their fair share of property damage too—more than 19,500 fires are annually reported due to fireworks. Think twice before choosing consumer firecrackers.
Patriotic glow sticks can paint the night sky and are safe for all ages. Noisemakers that can be found at local party stores are sure to make your patriotism loud and proud. Better yet, homemade noisemakers make for a great family-friendly craft. Red, white, and blue silly string offer yet another way to safely show your patriotism and have fun in the process.
If you make the decision to gather with friends and family in your backyard for the traditional charred burger or roasted frank, maintain social distance whenever possible. Disposable utensils, plates, and cups are recommended. Avoid communal bowls for chips or provide disposable serving utensils. A conveniently located hand sanitizer station can go a long way in terms of reducing germs. If you are hosting the barbecue and decide to make your restroom available, give it a deep clean before and after opening it up to your guests. Also, provide disposable hand towels or even a roll of paper towels rather than a communal cloth towel. For more barbecue tips, tricks, and recommendations, read here.
If you opt for the fair-weather friendly cookout, keep in mind the tried and true safety tips. Grills should be kept at least ten feet from your house. Make sure your grill is clean and clear from any Fourth of July decorations. Never leave your grill unattended, and thoroughly check gas lines if you opt for gas over charcoal. To read more about grill safety, click here.
While 2020 has proven to be a bit of an unpredictable year thus far, following these do’s and don’ts can make your safety during this summer holiday season a sure thing.