Nothing says summer like cookouts, pool parties, and sunny days. While fireworks can add an extra spark to any celebration with your family and friends, there are some important safety rules and considerations to think over before breaking out your sparklers.

As the Fourth of July approaches, it’s worth reviewing the following tips to ensure a peaceful and safe celebration:

  • Stay Legal: Before purchasing or setting off any fireworks, be sure to check if fireworks are allowed under the state, city, or county laws. Also, be mindful of any restrictions that may be present due to local weather conditions. Restrictions and regulations are in place to ensure the safety of the community, so don’t have your party ruined by getting in trouble with the law.
  • Follow the Rules: If local and state laws don’t put restrictions on fireworks, then there’s still a chance that they may be restricted within your community. Before planning to set off fireworks at your residence, check the CC&Rs or other HOA documents to make sure you aren’t violating any rules or regulations and to avoid last minute changes or cancellations to your festivities.
  • Keep Your Guests Informed: Summer holidays mean an increased number of visitors in your community. If you are planning on having a gathering, keep in mind that there may be increased traffic and decreased parking and driving space. Inform your guests ahead of time of when and where they can park, as well as any other HOA rules that may pertain to them. If one of your guests were to break the rules, you’d be the one held responsible by the HOA!
  • Practice Fire Safety: Always keep fire safety at the forefront of your mind while using fireworks. Only use fireworks in areas that have been designated safe by your HOA to help prevent potential injury or costly damage. It’s recommended to soak used fireworks in a bucket of water to help prevent sparks and ensure that fireworks are properly extinguished. Also, keep a fire extinguisher or hose nearby in case of an emergency. If a burn injury occurs, be careful when treating it. While it may be tempting to reach for ice to soothe the burn, this can cause more damage. We recommend checking out WebMD’s article on burn treatment to help assess proper treatment.
  • Keep Your Pets in Mind: Fireworks aren’t as fun for many of our furry friends. Keep them in mind if you plan on using fireworks during your summer celebration, to help them get through the holiday with as little stress as possible. It’s a good idea to keep pets locked up safely inside your home to prevent them from running away or getting lost and injured. Also, if your dog or cat seems particularly sensitive to fireworks, you can purchase a ThunderShirt to help ease their anxiety.
  • Stay Tidy: Fireworks can create quite a mess. To avoid incurring fines or irritating neighbors, be sure to clean up any food, litter, or firework debris promptly after your celebration.
  • Supervise Children: To help prevent burns or other injuries, keep a close eye on children while using fireworks. Also, be wary of handing sparklers to young children. Not only do sparklers burn at an extremely high heat, but they are the leading cause of firework related injuries. If your home or association has a pool, remind small children of water safety, and know where they are at all times.
  • Stay Neighborly: When celebrating, be sure to keep your neighbors in mind. Be respectful by being aware of your noise level and ending your festivities at a reasonable hour.
  • Practice Firework Safety: When using fireworks, it’s best to remember these general safety rules:
    • If you are serving alcohol at your party, be sure that fireworks are not being used by those who are impaired.
    • Never light fireworks indoors.
    • Never hold a lighted (non-sparkler) firework in your hand.
    • Use fireworks at a safe distance from any people, houses, or flammable material.
    • Never point or throw a firework at other people.
    • Only light fireworks once. If the firework doesn’t work, do not attempt to re-ignite.
    • Create a safe distance after lighting a firework.
    • Only light one firework at a time.
    • Never purchase illegal fireworks.
    • Tie back long hair and don’t wear loose fitting clothing when shooting fireworks.
    • Never carry fireworks in your pocket.

By taking the time to verify your local rules and properly prepare, you not only ensure a safe, fun celebration with your loved ones, but you can also avoid tampering your holiday by getting into trouble. Make safety your top priority for this year’s summer celebrations to maintain, protect, and care for your community.