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How to Have a Safe and Awesome July 4th


July 4th is just around the corner! Before you know it, you’ll have a cold beverage in your hand while the brats and burgers sizzle on the grill.  There will be pool parties and good music. There may be sparklers and bottle rockets. It’s looking like it’s going to be a nice, long weekend.

Before you dive right into it, though, it’s a good idea to take a few precautions in order to have a safe and excellent weekend.

  • Make sure your fire extinguisher hasn’t expired. If you don’t have one, it’s a great idea to keep one for your household. It’s good to be prepared.
  • GRILLING SAFETY – Check your gas grill hoses for cracks, holes or leaks. Remember that the minimum safe distance your grill should be kept from your house is 10 feet. Grills should also be kept at least 2 feet away from decks, siding, branches, or furniture that can catch fire.
  • POOL SAFETY – Never leave small children unattended. Also, exercise caution if consuming alcoholic beverages around a pool.
  • FIREWORKS SAFETY– Launch from the ground and away from buildings, and make sure children are under proper supervision. Never allow young children to handle fireworks or sparklers. Check to make sure that shooting fireworks is legal in your county.
  • SUN PROTECTION! It’s expected to be mostly sunny this weekend, so be sure to have sunscreen with you.
  • Keep your furry friends in mind. Often times, they can get disoriented or frightened by fireworks. It’s best to keep them indoors or in a sheltered, quiet place where they can feel safe.

But enough of the safety stuff… How about some interesting facts about the 4th of July?

  • As a holiday, the 4th of July was observed as early as 1777 – where a major celebration in Philadelphia had a parade, a thirteen-shot cannon salute and a fireworks display.
  • The White House held its first 4th of July party in 1801.
  • The oldest delegate to sign the Declaration of Independence was Benjamin Franklin, at age 70. Thomas Jefferson was only 33 at the time.
  • The population in the United States in 1776 was 2.5 million. In 2011, it was over 311 million.
  • John Adams and Thomas Jefferson named the bald eagle as the national bird – but Benjamin Franklin wanted it to be a turkey.
  • France, Greece, Poland, Russia and many countries in South America have cited the Declaration of Independence in their own struggles for freedom.
  • It’s a Hot Dog Holiday! Americans consume over 155 million hot dogs on the 4th of July alone!
  • The American Pyrotechnics Association (APA) estimates that more than 14,000 professional firework displays light up the skies across the United States every 4th of July.

A few preventative measures can go a long way towards having a safe and wonderful 4th of July with your friends and family. From all of us at HEP, we wish you an awesome weekend – and happy Independence Day!