The Fourth of July is here, and you know what that means: Celebrations, Hot dog eating contests, barbeques, and fireworks. Fire safety is crucial during this time as everyone is partying, drinking, and can easily get careless. You don’t want to be lighting fireworks while you’re drunk or starting up a gas grill while you’re smoking. Independence Day is a fantastic holiday, and you should celebrate it to your heart’s content. Just be safe. Here are some safety tips for grilling and fireworks this Independence Day.

Grilling Safety Tips

The peak month for grill fires is July (17%) due to the summer season being a time when people generally grill, as well as the Fourth of July being THE holiday for barbeques. May, June, and August come after July, which makes sense, as those are hot months as well. The leading factor which contributed to one fifth of all grill fires was failure to clean the grill. Make sure your grill is clean before using it. The next highest cause (17%) was something catching fire that was positioned too close to the grill.

Remember to make sure all flammable materials are not near the grill after it has been lit. Make sure to only use your propane or charcoal grills OUTDOORS. Do not allow children or pets to get near the grilling area. DO NOT leave your grill unattended. Check the gas tank (if it is a propane grill) for any potential gas leaks. Turn off the gas grill if you smell gas. If you turned off the gas and it continues to smell, move away from the grill and call the fire department immediately.

Regarding charcoal grills, only use charcoal starter fluids, and not any random flammable liquid. Once you’ve finished grilling, make sure to let the coals completely cool off before disposing of them in a metal container.

Fireworks Safety Tips

Who doesn’t want to see an incredible fireworks display on the Fourth of July? It’s an amazing way to celebrate towards the evening after you’ve finished grilling and watched the annual hot dog eating contest. There are many different ways that things can go wrong when using fireworks. There are 18,500 fires reported in the USA each year caused by fireworks, which resulted in 10,500 people sent to the hospital in 2014. One quarter of the injuries were caused by sparklers. About one quarter of all annual fireworks fires are reported on Independence Day. Fireworks can be extremely dangerous when used improperly.

Here are some tips so you don’t make a deadly mistake. Don’t even attempt to use consumer fireworks unless you are a trained professional. After a fireworks display, keep children away from the leftover fireworks that may still be active. Sparklers burn at 1200 degrees Fahrenheit. That is incredibly hot. For reference, water boils at 212 Fahrenheit and glass melts at 900 Fahrenheit. Be safe this Fourth of July and leave fireworks to the professionals.

Being fire-safe does not mean you cannot have fun. Enjoy this year’s July Fourth. Eat a hotdog. Watch a fireworks display. Grill some burgers. Watch Independence Day. Most importantly, stay safe.