Celebrating our country's freedom on July 4th should be an enjoyable time for all. Grilling out, watching fireworks, and decorating with patriotic items are all ways to have fun at this time of year if you plan on celebrating from home.
If you live within a homeowners association, HOA, then you should also remember that there are some important things to consider while enjoying the holiday. There may be certain rules and regulations you will have to follow to help you and your family stay safe. Here are some tips to help you have a fun and safe 4th of July:
1. Use Legally Purchased and Approved Fireworks
Fireworks should be safely used as directed under adult supervision. Fireworks should not be used near or over neighboring homes and forested areas, because it could result in fire, other damages, and injuries. Residents who do not comply could be held responsible for any damages or injuries that occur.
2. Get Familiar With Your HOA Rules
You should read over the rules to find out what you can and cannot do as a member. Look at your HOA documents regarding the use of fireworks to make sure that you are complying. You could find yourself in violation of safety rules and HOA rules. Any guests of your home should also understand the rules as well.
3. Be Courteous to Neighbors
Being nice to your neighbors can go a long ways. Try to be courteous with your celebrations and keep noise levels down. Disturbing your neighbors will not only cause tension in the neighborhood, but it could also get you in trouble with your community association.
4. Learn Local Codes and Laws
Check with local law enforcement before using any fireworks on July 4th. Fireworks may be illegal in your area, and there could be city codes you must follow before using them. There also may be noise ordinances in your city that you must follow.
5. Understand the Risk of Fireworks
An average of 200 people a day visit the emergency room due to fireworks in the month surrounding July 4th. Fireworks were the result of four deaths in 2011, and they were all caused by illegal or homemade fireworks. Hands and fingers make up almost 50% of body parts injured, and more than half of the injuries were due to burns. Fireworks can be fun for everyone when they are legally and safely handled.
6. Properly Dispose of Fireworks
Used fireworks can still cause burns and other injuries if not handled and disposed properly. Soak used fireworks in water before disposing of them in a garbage can.
7. Be Aware of Pet Safety
Many pets become spooked at the sounds and sights of a fireworks display. Keep all pets in a safe area where they will not hear or see fireworks if they are easily spooked. Refrain from using them at all if it is going to be harmful towards your pets.
8. Understand Your Insurance Policy
You should fully understand your homeowners insurance policy when it comes to damages and injuries due to fireworks. You may be responsible for fireworks that land on or damage other properties and people.
9. Do Not Litter
Clean up any garbage and debris after using fireworks. Powder residue and other firework materials leave a mess and can be potentially harmful. Fines may also be given for yards, sidewalks, streets, and driveways that contain litter.
To ensure your safety on the 4th of July, follow these nine safety tips. Also be aware of all policies and laws in your neighborhood and city before using fireworks this holiday. Once you have taken all of the right steps to be safe, you can get patriotic and celebrate our country's freedom!