Keep Your Home Safe on Independence Day

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    Americans eat more burgers and dogs and fire off more fireworks on the Fourth of July than any other day. Celebrating the nation’s Independence Day is steeped in the traditions of backyard barbecues and pyrotechnics. Unfortunately, these festivities often turn tragic when proper safety guidelines are not followed. Combining explosives with grilling and perhaps a few beers can be dangerous if you’re not careful. Most people know about the statistics claiming this weekend is the deadliest on the nation’s roads and highways due to drunk driving. Did you know thousands are hurt and seriously injured right in their own backyards as well? This Fourth of July, be sure your friends and home remains safe.

    A fire extinguisher is a must-have for any Independence Day celebration. One of these can prevent a gas or charcoal grill from turning the backyard cookout into a bonfire. A fire extinguisher is also a handy item if those fireworks get out of hand. For the charcoal grillers, be careful with that lighter fluid. Never light charcoal that you did not douse with fluid yourself. Gas grills should be inspected for any gas blockage before use. At the first sign of problems turn off your control values, turn off the fuel tank, and disconnect everything.

    For either gas or charcoal grills, it is important to keep them clean. Grease build up in the grill can cause fire flare ups and other hazards. Every year hundreds of people cause fires to their houses, garages and patios because they didn’t put out their grill or smoker in the correct location, causing thousands of dollars of damage. Be sure your grill is away from any structures or trees and keep children at a distance.

    If you’re planning on observing the country’s birthday with a bang, the National Council on Fireworks Safety offers these tips:

    • Closely supervise teens if they are using fireworks
    • Do not allow young children to handle or use fireworks
    • Fireworks should only be used outdoors
    • Always have water ready; Read the caution label before igniting
    • Save your alcohol for after the show
    • Wear safety glasses whenever using fireworks
    • Only light one firework at a time
    • Never relight a “dud” firework
    • Never use homemade fireworks or illegal explosives
    •  And lastly, soak spent fireworks with water before placing them in an outdoor, fire resistant garbage can away from buildings and flammable materials.

    You can follow all of these guidelines and still experience an accident that causing injury to a guest or damages your home. In those cases, it’s important to have a homeowners insurance policy with sufficient coverage. Contact us to ensure your insurance is grill and fireworks proof.

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