Staying Safe on The Fourth | Event Safety
June 30, 2016
With one of the largest national holidays coming up, we decided to partner with Laura Hernandez Photography to create an editorial about safety during the upcoming Fourth of July! Firstly, we know safety is boring. I get it a lot. The most important thing to remember is that the boring safety stuff allows the fun holiday stuff to remain fun and not tragic!
These tips and tricks will help you be prepared and prevent catastrophe this weekend and holiday!
Don’t Be A Statistic. Every July 5th you wake up the news about someone doing something not so bright and ending up badly injured, or even worse; injuring other people. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) puts together a statistical analysis every year of last years Fourth of July injuries. For example, in 2014, children under 15 made up 35% of all fireworkrelated emergency room visits. High explosives and children tend to not mix well, and it can be tempting to let little Timmy shoot off that rocket – but you should take precautions to avoid danger! In my city last year, our fire department responded to a fireworks related fire every 90 seconds. Being unsafe with your fireworks puts a strain on your local emergency services, preventing people in actual danger from receiving service they need. I also want to point out, although it should be obvious, Alcohol and fireworks do NOT mix.
Be Prepared. Buy the food, snacks, fireworks and alcohol ahead of your plans! I highly recommend (If you don’t have them already) heading over to your neighborhood hardware store (Harbor Freight, Home Depot, Ace) and picking up some simple safety devices! If you’re going to be setting off your own fireworks, I highly recommend a Face Shield and Ear Protection. Those together will run you less than $10, but can save you from unnecessary damage to your important bits. While you’re at it, grab a pair of good leather gloves, which can be had for $15 or less. I always keep a 5-10 gallon bucket of water near my “shooting” area, in case of a dud or fire! You can pick up a Homer bucket at Home Depot for $5-10 and use that! We always recommend a fire extinguisher as well, especially with any aerial fireworks that run the risk of landing in brush.
Fireworks are expensive, especially this year in California. I remember as a child spending $50 to get a LOT of bang – now you will end up spending $300+ for anything moderate. A great alternative, which also keeps you safe, is going to an organized show! Many cities provide them for free, and they make your Fourth of July a lot safer and much more enjoyable.
As long as you remember that fireworks are dangerous, you should have a safe and enjoyable holiday! The American Red Cross also runs a great blog about tips and tricks to keep your holiday safe. They even have a great app on the page linked above that offers First Aid tips in case of emergency!