The Fourth of July has become a day full of family, friends and celebrating the land of the free. Whether you are hosting a gathering or are a guest, make sure everyone’s safety is your No. 1 priority. Remember these tips from the Consumer Product Safety Commission as July 4 approaches, or any time you are dealing with fireworks.
- Even if you can buy fireworks in a store, make sure that it’s legal in your state to set them off.
- While setting fireworks off, keep a bucket of water or hose handy in case the grass or other areas catch on fire.
- After using fireworks, make sure to completely put out any embers by placing in water to avoid any unexpected fires.
- Do not allow young children to light fireworks; even sparklers should be handled only by older children. Sparklers can reach a temperature of 2,000° Fahrenheit.
- If you have consumed any amount of alcohol, refrain from using fireworks. This could be a deadly combination!
- Make sure to keep your animals away from the action. Some animals panic at the sound of fireworks or other loud noises and could harm people.
The perfect ending to any gathering is a safe trip home for all of your guests. Your responsibilities as host do not end when your guests walk out the door. If an intoxicated guest injures someone on the way home, you could be held legally responsible. Mothers Against Drunk Driving offers a number of tips in its Safe Party Guide, including:
- Never serve alcohol to someone under the legal drinking age, and never ask children to serve alcohol at parties.
- Don’t let guests mix their own drinks. Choosing a reliable “bartender” will help you keep track of the size and number of drinks that guests consume.
- If a guest appears to be drinking a bit much, offer to freshen his or her drink with a virgin version.
- Do not push drinks! Drinking at a party is not mandatory for having a good time.
- Have fun – but not too much fun. To be a good host, you should stay within your limits in order to make sure your guests stay within theirs.
- Close the bar 90 minutes before the party ends and serve a great dessert treat with coffee. Remember, only time sobers someone who has been drinking.
- If, despite your efforts, some of your guests have had too much to drink, drive them home, arrange for a ride with another guest who hasn’t been drinking, call a taxi, or invite them to stay over.
Keep this information in mind as you sit back, enjoy July 4 and the freedom of our country by staying safe and having fun with your loved ones.