Safety Tips for 4th of July Fireworks and BBQS

The Fourth of July is a day commonly spent with family and friends celebrating our nation’s independence. For many Americans, this national holiday is not complete without two key elements: barbecues and fireworks! While these two traditions are heavily ingrained in the American culture, their origins may be unknown to many. According to Reader’s Digest, fireworks have been tied to Independence Day since the very first official independence celebration in Philadelphia. On July 4th, 1777, 13 cannons were set off, representing each of the 13 states of the union, and fireworks glistened in the sky.

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The tradition of the backyard BBQ does not span as long, as barbecuing only became prominent in the early 1800’s. Virginian colonists grilled animals over a fire, continuing the practice taken from the West Indies, but it was political leaders who tied grilling to the 4th of July. They held rallies to commemorate the holiday, which attracted a large number of individuals, due to the inclusion of, “massive barbecues featuring whole pigs and oxen.”

Today, nothing says red, white, and blue quite like a fireworks show and hot dogs on the grill. However, a family-friendly backyard BBQ can quickly go from fun to fatal when attention is taken away from the grill. Not only can the open flames  harm to kids who get too close, but a fire could erupt, due to leaking propane, and quickly spread. The explosion could cause burns, as well as major property damage. Grill fires sound like a joke, but they are more common than people think.. According to TODAY, there are 7,000 gas grill fires in the US every year! Fireworks also pose a threat if they are not handled with care or if they are misused and can lead to serious firework accident injuries. Children and adults alike have been known to burn themselves trying to light a firework, or have a firework explode in their faces if they don’t back away in time, after lighting one. Since, 4th of July festivities can be just as dangerous as they are fun, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has suggests the  ten following safety tips so people can make sure their holiday festivities don’t involve a trip to the emergency room.

4th of July Firework and BBQ Safety Tips

  1. Be sure fireworks are legal in your area before using or buying them.
  2. Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities and never allow children to play with or ignite fireworks. Sparklers alone account for one quarter of emergency room fireworks injuries.
  3. If you set off fireworks, keep a bucket of water handy in case of malfunction or fire.
  4. If fireworks malfunction, don’t relight them! Douse and soak them with water then throw them away.
  5. Never ignite fireworks in a container, especially one that is glass or metal.
  6. Use your grill well away from your home and deck railings, and out from under branches or overhangs.
  7. Open your gas grill before lighting.
  8. Periodically remove grease or fat buildup in trays below your gas or propane grill so it cannot be ignited.
  9. Declare a three-foot "kid and pet-free zone" around the grill to keep them safe.
  10. Avoid loose clothing that can catch fire when cooking on the grill.
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In 2016 alone, US hospitals treated approximately 11,100 individuals with firework-related injuries, as reported by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Of those injured, 69% were treated for burns, the most common injury to the body excluding the eye. If the eyes were impacted by fireworks, the damage consisted of, “contusions, lacerations, and foreign bodies in the eyes.” Adults 20 to 24 had the highest rate of firework-related injuries treated in a hospital, followed by children under the age of 5. These statistics are bleak, but they can serve as a powerful reminder that firework accidents should never be underestimated. While it may be a safer option is to leave the fireworks to the professionals and attend a local show instead, many Americans will celebrate this Independence Day in their backyards. For a safe and festive 4th of July, use caution when setting off fireworks, and you won’t have to share your brisket with any firemen who come to the rescue!


Firework shows are spectacular, and an exciting part of Fourth of July celebrations. Even if they are handled by professionals, viewers, and their vehicles must be located far enough away from the fallout zone to avoid firework-related injuries. Designated parking and viewing areas, when available, may provide a safe distance from flying debris. But with the heavy flow of traffic, they may be fully occupied. If a safe viewing area is not an option, try to find a spot as far from where the show will take place as possible, and be on alert of  other drivers also trying to find a place to park. If you or someone you know has been injured due to another person’s negligence, call The Michigan Law Firm, PC for a free consultation today at 844.4MI.FIRM. Our Michigan accident attorneys are ready to help!

Fourth Of July Travel Safety Tips

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As the Fourth of July, one of the most anticipated holidays of the year, approaches, many American families are preparing to travel to celebrate this patriotic day. Thousands of people take to the roads on Independence Day, contributing to what U.S. News describes as “the busiest summer travel holiday.” This year, the holiday weekend will extend longer than normal, from Friday, June 30th to Tuesday, July 4th, when AAA Travel says a record-breaking 44.2 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more away from home. As a result, drivers need to extra careful when traveling on the roads over the longer weekend, since other drivers may have over-indulged in celebratory beverages at barbecues and parties.

To avoid being involved in a motor vehicle accident, travelers may want to follow the Fourth of July Travel Safety Tips below, recommended by TODAY:

  • Follow basic safety practices. Wearing seatbelts, using helmets, being mindful of speed limits, and remembering to not drink and drive can go a long way to keeping roads safe.
  • Take preventative measures. Check oil levels and tire pressure, along with coolant levels, because cars may overheat when stuck in traffic. Car owners may also benefit from a check-up with a mechanic, prior to a long road trip, to examine vehicles for any unusual problems that might impede driving vacation.
  • Plan trips with timing in mind. If it can be helped, it can be safer to travel a few days before or a few days after the Fourth of July, as the days closer to the holiday tend to be more congested.
  • Keep a safe following distance. Stay three seconds or more behind the car, truck, or motorcycle in front of you. This will allow you enough time to brake if you need to stop suddenly.
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  • Minimize distractions. Keep phones put away and out of reach, leave snacks and drinks in the cooler, and turn the radio stations on before leaving the driveway. If mobile devices absolutely must be in the car, hand them to a passenger to control or utilize one of these safety apps researched by The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC to help prevent a deadly collision from distracted driving. Besides these distractions, road trips also call for additional reasons to focus on the road. Arguments, even if they are in the backseat, may make drivers anxious or cause them to take their eyes and ears off the road. Pets, along for the vacation, should be kept inside a carrier or fascinated into pet-specific seat belts, so as not to jump into the front seat and distract the driver. Additionally, loose items like sunglasses and maps might fall from the dashboard or overhead sun visors, startling drivers enough to threaten the safety of everyone in the car.
  • Know where you are going. Look up directions for road trip routes beforehand, making a plan for the hours spent on the road. Enlist a passenger to help navigate, so that the driver can focus on getting to the destination safely. Remember not to look at a phone screen for distractions while also behind the wheel of a moving vehicle.  
  • Get plenty of rest. Prior to traveling over the Independence Day weekend, don’t forget to sleep in the midst of packing and planning. Lack of sleep can lead to drowsiness while driving, which is a risk factor for severe car crashes. Car drivers should take frequent breaks and rotate drivers if necessary.
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The Fourth of July can be fun for everyone, as it is a day off work to enjoy the summer weather, cook out in backyards, and swim in the lake. Holiday road trips are a great way to bond with family and friends, and visit destinations, both new locales and well-loved spots. However, drivers must always be cautious of their surroundings, especially during such a busy time for travelers. Keep flashes of red, white, and blue to the fireworks in the sky instead of blinking on top of police cars. There is no doubt which would make the Founding Fathers more proud.


The 4th of July is a day to celebrate freedom for all people in the United States of America. Driving is a privilege not a freedom. Don't take advantage of the holiday as a reason to drive dangerously, drunkenly, or distractedly this upcoming Independence Day weekend. If you or someone you know has been a victim of an automobile collision, please contact The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation.

Don't Go Out With a Bang: Firework Safety Tips for 4th of July Festivities

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With 4th of July weekend fast approaching, people across the United States are starting to plan their celebration for America's birthday. The weekend will surely be filled with barbecues, swimming, and parades.  It is also expected that fireworks will light up the sky all weekend long, and it is important that everyone stays safe while enjoying the show.

It is estimated by Statistic Brain that the firework industry takes in over $1 Billion in revenue every year, and a large portion of that revenue comes in during 4th of July celebrations. Unfortunately, the explosions in the sky can come at a human cost. There are nearly 10,000 injuries every year caused by fireworks, 40% of which are caused by illegal firework usage. Fireworks also cause a lot of property damage, including 20,000 fires every year. 

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Heading into its fifth year, the Michigan Consumer-Grade Fireworks law is still controversial with residents. After 2015's Independence Day festivities, over 20,000 residents signed an online petition which was seeking an appeal of the law. "Either people say they have no problem at all or people are just outraged and irate over the amount of fireworks in their neighborhood. There doesn't seem to really be any middle ground there," Democratic Congressman Henry Yanez, a Democratic from Sterling Heights, told MLive.

AVOIDING FIREWORK INJURY ACCIDENTS

Below are several firework safety tips from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission:

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  • Never allow children to play with or ignite fireworks. 
  • Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.
  • Keep a bucket of water or a garden house handy in case of fire or other mishap. 
  • Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.
  • Light fireworks one at a time then move back quickly. 
  • Light fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly.
  • Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass container.
  • Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities. Parents don't realize that young children suffer injuries from sparklers. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees - hot enough to melt some metals.

It is also important to factor in the near-drought that has taken place in Metro Detroit, as many lawns and fields have not seen enough rain over the past few weeks. Conditions have become so dry that the Michigan Fire Marshall is considering enforcing a statewide ban on fireworks this weekend. According to the Detroit News, the ban would also include burning objects such as bonfires. A spokesperson for the Fire Marshall has told MLive that "discussions continue among state officials, but no action has been taken on either the potential fireworks ban or the potential burning ban." People who choose to light off fireworks should be aware of the ground conditions around where the fireworks will be lit.


4th of July weekend is one of the deadliest holidays for auto accidents in the United States. Whether you are driving home from your cottage or driving down to the beach, you should be extra cautious of extra drivers and NEVER drive while under the influence. If you or somebody you know is injured in an auto accident caused by a drunk driver this holiday weekend, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC. Whether the injuries sustained from the accident are minor or severe, our attorneys will work alongside you to get you the proper help you need. They will not rest until your case is settled. Call us today, at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation.