The Fourth of July is coming up again, which can be particularly stressful for insurance companies as claims can skyrocket (see what we did there?). As such, we’ve compiled some tips to help you steer clear of the more dangerous activities common to the holiday.
One of the cheapest and classic ways to celebrate the 4th is with the iconic sparklers. Nothing lights up a kid’s eyes more than twirling around with spark-jumping fire sticks. But did you know that sparklers burn at upwards of 2000° F? That’s enough to burn through some metals and melt glass. There’s a reason most Fourth of July injuries happens to those under the age of 15, they simply aren’t old enough to know what they are dealing with. They are the most common cause of injury this weekend, especially with kids. Keep water nearby and make sure you are fully supervising any sparkler action.
The timing of the holiday is the perfect opportunity to get outside for a picnic or barbecue. However, the summer heat produces other risks you may not be aware of. With outside events comes an increased risk for all things overheating. Spending all day in the sun can produce health risks such as:
Watching for signs of heatstroke as you go about your celebrations could save someone’s life or prevent the issue altogether through proper planning. When organizing your events make sure you scout a good location with plenty of shade, or bring some of your own to protect those who might be at an increased risk (Elderly, children, pets, etc.). Also be sure to drink lots of water to stay hydrated and wear proper sunscreen, reapplying often.
The drinking culture around the holiday can lead to some severe, albeit often unintended, consequences from the celebrations. Driving to a friend’s house for a small get-together could seem harmless, but not attending with a sober transportation plan could be a disaster. Did you know Americans spend over $1 billion dollars on alcohol alone on the Fourth of July? Combine that with the average length of a holiday picnic/BBQ being over 5 hours, the heat, and increased driving over the course of the weekend (50+ miles extra on average!), and you get 400 automobile casualties every year. Taking a couple precautions this year could drastically reduce your chance of risk, and we’ve compiled a shortlist of great tips and some scary stats to make this year’s celebrations a safe one.
Hint: Most recreational vehicles aren’t covered by homeowner’s insurance! Check your coverages or look into RV options before you risk losing one of your expensive toys!
Don't Forget Your Pets!
Holiday weekends can get a little intense but it's important to consider your pets when planning your activities. Pets are terrified of fireworks and can often panic or become extremely stressed depending on their surroundings. The ASPCA and PAW have listed a couple ways to keep your pet happy and panic free over the holiday.
- Keep your pet indoors! Leave your pet at home instead of putting them in an unfamiliar situation full of loud noises and lots of people. Locking them in your car is not an option, as they can suffer from brain damage and heat-related problems.
- Keep your pet away from glowing toys, fireworks, or any accelerants as they are all very toxic and deadly.
- Make sure precautions are taken care of like microchipping and ID tags. Pets are susceptible to stressful environments and may escape seeking shelter from the noise.
Tips for the Holiday
Plan out your weekend to eliminate risky behaviors and situations as much as possible. If you are drinking, bring a designated driver or develop a strategy to get home safely.
Don’t buy fireworks, or exercise EXTREME caution. Instead, attend an event in your local area sponsored by professionals.
If you are hosting an event, make sure to take car keys as people arrive, keep an extra eye on children, and be careful of overlooked signs of heatstroke and dehydration.
You can also call your insurance agent to check where you might be at risk if something goes wrong at your home.
The Fourth of July is the most dangerous American holiday weekend of the year. (Source)
230 people every year show up in emergency rooms because of fireworks, with sparklers causing the most! (Source)
U.S. towns and cities detonate enough explosive material on July 4th to generate 6.6 million kilowatt-hours of electricity. That’s enough to power more than 550 U.S. homes for a year. (Source)
More than one-quarter (28%) of fires started by fireworks in 2009-2013 were reported on Independence Day. Almost half (47%) of the reported fires on the 4th of July were started by fireworks. (Source)
On average, over 600 people die from complications related to extreme heat each year in the United States - more than tornadoes, hurricanes, flooding, or any other weather event combined. (Source)
Overall, use common sense and get others to do so as well this weekend. Call your insurance agent to discuss upping your homeowner’s coverage or adding an RV policy if you think you may be at risk. Have an awesome and holiday weekend!