With all of last year’s festivities canceled due to COVID-19, people are excited and looking forward to an explosive and scintillating 4th of July.

Before finalizing your plans, preparation is key to an enjoyable and safe holiday.

In this uncertain world we are in, before you immerse yourself in a huge public fireworks display, there are several things you need to be aware of. Determine if your geographical region is one the 11 states that are under vaccinated and more at risk. This is a list of the states that if you are not vaccinated, you should protect yourself and others by not participating in a group fireworks display: Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, Idaho, Missouri, West Virginia and Wyoming.

The Delta variant is creating havoc in the unvaccinated, including our children. Are you willing to risk your family for fireworks?

There have been several cancellations for 2021 of much anticipated fireworks displays. Sadly, organizers of these events are citing a lack of resources (money, police enforcement, workers) to be able to safely have these events. Hope for 2022. It is our fervent hope that the unvaccinated people will step up so that the country can get back to work, and return to all those things that we as a country love to do and look forward to.

For the second year in a row, there is a shortage of fireworks. This is due to delays and shipment challenges that have affected all businesses globally.

If you and your family are celebrating at home, be sure to shop early.

Fireworks safety is of paramount importance. By taking a few common sense precautions, your family and friends can enjoy a memorable holiday. If you have decided to stay home and have your own fireworks display, please consider the following safety tips:

  • Make sure an adult is in charge of all fireworks and supervising during the entire activity.
  • Keep a hose or bucket of water handy for any mishaps.
  • Never put fireworks in your pockets.
  • Keep small children away from where you are lighting fireworks.
  • Protect your pets. Many animals are afraid of loud and sudden noises.
  • Have a working fire extinguisher handy in case fireworks get out of hand.
  • Sparklers are dangerous and burn hotter than 2000 degrees. Find an alternative for your small children.
  • Always wear protective eye wear.
  • Never try to re-light dud fireworks.
  • Never hold lit fireworks in your hands.

Following are 5 explosive fireworks facts presented by

  • During the 4th of July, Americans light about 175 million pounds of fireworks, which is equivalent to about 100,000 lightening bolts.
  • In the U.S., sparklers account for 41% of the emergency room firework injuries. Additionally, sparklers account for 79% of injuries to children under 5 years old.
  • Males account for 57% of private firework injuries in the U.S. Females are injured more often at public firework displays.
  • On a typical July 4th, approximately two out of five reported fires are caused by fireworks.
  • The risk of injury from fireworks is highest for the 0-4 age group, followed by children 10-14 years old.

An easily forgotten safety measure is firework disposal. ALWAYS soak spent fireworks in water before discarding to avoid unnecessary fires.

Please take a moment to watch this safety video to help you prepare for a safe 4th of July. Make sure that fireworks are allowed in your area if you are planning a home fireworks show. Illegally using fireworks is a surefire way to dampen a fun family get-together.

If you are grilling for Independence Day, FEMA recommends the following safety tips:

  • Use your grill well away from your home and deck railing, and out from under branches or overhangs.
  •  Open your gas grill before lighting.
  •  Periodically remove grease or fat buildup in trays below your gas or propane grill so it cannot be ignited.
  •  Declare a three-foot “kid and pet-free zone” around the grill to keep them safe.
  •  Avoid loose clothing that can catch fire when cooking on the grill.

Whatever you decide is the proper way to celebrate our nation’s birthday, keep in mind that your personal safety and that of your family is in your hands. An irresponsible decision can have a devastating impact on all that you hold dear.

Be safe, be aware of your surroundings, and be proactive!