Happy Independence Day!

Happy Independence Day! If you’re like me, you either have a barbecue, lake trip, or Fourth of July celebration lined up for this patriotic day.

While we’re busy stuffing our faces full of hot dogs, though, let’s be sure to remember to keep our fireworks shenanigans safe for all involved. Follow our tips below for a safe & fabulous Fourth!

Tip #1: Know the Rules

First things first, are fireworks actually legal where you live? Each state has different rules and regulations regarding fireworks, so be sure to check out this cheat sheet before the police let you know you’re in trouble.

For a full list of the laws state-by-state, visit the American Pyrotechnics Associations’ directory.

Tip #2: Keep the Fire only in Fireworks

Look, it’s fun to light things on fire – that’s an essential part of being an American, I get it. But while you’re busy queuing up those bottle rockets, make sure you’re not aiming them towards people, animals, vehicles, or your neighbor’s house.

The last thing you want to do is to accidentally set something on fire. More than 50,000 fires are caused each year by fireworks.

Tip #3: Keep a Supply of Water Close By

See Tip #2 for why this is needed. I shouldn’t have to explain more.

Tip #4: Get Your Grill On…Safely

If there’s no grill, are you even celebrating Independence Day? Thankfully I’ve only been in one (totally accidental and not my fault) grill incident, but according to the Red Cross there are a couple things everyone should keep in mind when grilling, including:

  • Don’t leave your hot dogs alone
  • Never, ever grill indoors
  • Keep pets and small children (and maybe your uncle) away from the grill
  • Absolutely do not keep the grill near things that are flammable – tree branches, decks, etc.
  • If the coals are already ignited, DO NOT use charcoal starter fluid

Tip #5 Remember Poor Fido

Not all dogs love the Fourth of July – and for the record, this can apply to other house pets as well. The Press-Enterprise recommends keeping pets inside, away from the fireworks and the worst of the noise. Particularly nervous canines might appreciate you turning on the radio or the TV to mask the sound of fireworks going off in your neighborhood as well.

Taking your dog with you? Be sure that they are properly leashed up, first of all, and make sure they are chipped or tagged. That way if Fido freaks out, you’ll have a much better chance of locating him. The better option is of course not to take your pup to fireworks show, and just leave him safe at home.

Tip #6: Don’t be Rude

Honestly, I don’t know why I even need to put this one here. Just don’t shoot fireworks at people, pets, or houses and make sure everyone’s good to go with the music you’re blasting. Play on.