4th of July Safety Tips During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Fran Majidi
November 3, 2020

You still have your usual worries this year: the kids getting their hands on fireworks they got from who knows where, the drunk uncle having an accident with the M-80s you told him not to bring over. On average, 180 people go to the emergency room every day of July, every year, due to fireworks-related injuries. So, your worries are quite founded. Skin burns and eye injuries are the last things you want to worry about as we all celebrate our country’s birthday.

To make things even more challenging, this year, we not only have fireworks to worry about but there is also the potential for COVID-19 infections as we all let down our guards while in the presence of family and friends. Do we have to keep our masks on while grilling and sipping a beer? How does it all work? We have some general tips on how to stay safe July 4, 2020.

Fireworks Safety Tips

  • Don’t let children handle or ignite fireworks, including sparklers.
  • Only allow adults to handle fireworks.
  • Don’t use fireworks sold in brown paper bags (these are more dangerous; not for home-use).
  • Back-up to a good distance immediately after lighting fireworks.
  • Discard fireworks that did not ignite fully but douse them in water first so they do not ignite in the trash. Trying to relight a firework that did not light properly is very dangerous.
  • Do not point fireworks towards anyone or anything that may ricochet.
  • Do not carry fireworks in your pocket.
  • Do not shoot off fireworks in metal or glass containers.
  • After setting off fireworks, soak them in water before discarding them.
  • Only use fireworks that are legal in your area.
  • Do not buy illegal fireworks.

In terms of insurance, if you’re found to have had any sort of damage to your home due to a fireworks-related accident and you were handling illegal fireworks, your claim will not be covered. Even if you have legal fireworks, you may still not be covered because the damages will likely be caused by the homeowner’s negligence. That’s why it’s important to be vigilant of guests and fireworks. If possible, the homeowner should be the only one allowed to handle anything that ignites. It’s always best to be safe than sorry.

COVID-19 Safety Tips and Alternatives to Big Parties

Cases of coronavirus began spiking again, ahead of the celebrations. Only 12 states, mainly in the Northeast, have managed to contain cases or see a decline. We are seeing renewed shutdowns in some areas. Officials are actually urging Americans to rethink their holiday plans. Beaches are closed in many areas. In California, officials are telling those who host barbecues to keep guest lists for contact tracing, in case someone gets sick.

Here are some ways you can prevent getting sick:

Keep Your Guest List Small. There’s no need to have a big barbecue. Have a cozy one! And if you keep your guests outdoors and keep at safe distances, you should be fine. Just ask everyone to wash and sanitize with each bathroom visit. And be sure to disinfect your bathroom after the party!

Watch Fireworks from Home. You don’t have to socialize if you’re worried about COVID-19. You can watch the fireworks on TV or computer. Most fireworks displays have been canceled this year, so forget about congregating at the lake or beach. It’s not happening in your local area either, even more reason to get comfy and turn on the TV to catch the few that are happening this year.

Watch a Patriotic Movie. There are plenty of them and now’s the time to watch some histories and documentaries about the country’s founders instead of throwing a big bash that may end up in numerous infections.

Bake for the Family. You can still bake those amazing red, white and blue desserts, even make it a family event by preparing the pies together. You can even do a drop-off of some pies for friends and extended family.

Go on a Family Hike. With this option, you can even add a few other family members if you all keep a distance. It’s going to be a beautiful day in many parts of the country so why not make the most of it? The experts say that outdoor activities are the safest ones if you feel the need to be social, so get your crew in their best red, white and blue outfits and get your blood flowing!

Camp in Your Backyard. If you feel bad that your kids don’t get the same raucous party that you had as a kid, make it fun by doing something different. Yes, pitch a tent in the backyard, get a safely contained fire in a designated fire pit going and tell scary stories. Why not? Light up some sparklers, get the adult beverages flowing, and you’ll have a great July 4th.

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