Fireworks Stock Photo

State Farm® Encourages Fourth of July Safety

July 2, 2018

July 2, 2017 - Atlanta, GA – Wednesday, millions of Georgians will be firing up their grills and igniting fireworks to shoot into the skies over the Peach State for America’s holiday. State Farm, Georgia’s largest home insurer, wants your 4th of July celebration to remain safe. The company reminds homeowners that the misuse of grills and fireworks can lead to serious property damage, injuries, and even death. “Avoiding injuries and preventing fires should always be on your mind when celebrating with food and fireworks,” says State Farm spokesman Myles C. Mitchom

 

Grilling Safety

There’s nothing like outdoor grilling. It’s one of the most popular ways to cook food. But, a grill placed too close to anything that can burn is a fire hazard. They can be very hot, causing burn injuries. Follow these simple tips and you will be on the way to safe grilling.

Safety Tips

  • Propane and BBQ grills should only be used outdoors
  • The grill should be placed well away from the home, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
  • Keep children and pets at least 3 feet away from the grill area.
  • Keep your grill clean by removing the grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill.
  • Never leave your grill unattended.
  • Always make sure your gas grill lid is open before lighting it.

Charcoal Grills

  • There are several ways to get the charcoal grill ready to use. Charcoal chimney starters allow you to start the charcoal using newspaper as fuel.
  • If you use a starter fluid, use only charcoal starter fluid. Never add charcoal starter fluid or any other flammable liquids to the fire.
  • Keep charcoal fluid out of reach of children and away from heat sources.
  • There are also electric charcoal starters, which do not use fire. Be sure to use an extension cord for outdoor use.
  • When you are finished grilling, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container.

Propane Grills

Check the gas tank hose for leaks before using it for the first time each year. Apply a light soap and water solution to the hose. A propane leak will release bubbles. If your grill has a gas leak, by smell or the soapy bubble test, and there is no flame, turn off the gas tank and grill. If the leak stops, get the grill serviced by a professional before using it again. If the leak does not stop, call the fire department. If you smell gas while cooking, immediately get away from the grill and call the fire department. Do not move the grill.

If the flame goes out, turn the grill and gas off and wait at least 15 minutes before re-lighting it.

  • July is the peak month for grill fires.
  • Roughly half of the injuries involving grills are thermal burns.

Fireworks Safety

Fireworks should only be used outdoors, and people celebrating with them should always remain at a safe distance from structures that could be ignited by sparks created by fireworks. Parents are also urged to keep a close eye on children who are using them.

Here are a few additional tips from The National Council on Fireworks Safety:

  • Alcohol and fireworks do not mix. Save your alcohol for after the show.
  • Do not hold a firework in your hand unless specifically stated in the caution label.
  • Fireworks should only be used outdoors.
  • Always have water ready, both in a bucket and in a charged hose, if you are using fireworks.
  • Have a Designated Shooter for the fireworks and make sure he/she reads the caution label before igniting.
  • Obey local laws. If fireworks are not legal where you live, do not use them.
  • Wear eye protection (safety glasses) whenever using fireworks.
  • Only light one firework at a time.
  • Never relight a "dud" firework. Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.
  • Used fireworks should be soaked with water and placed in a nonflammable trash can outside; several feet away from a house, garage, deck area or anything else flammable. 
  • Do not use homemade fireworks, professional fireworks or illegal explosives; they can kill you!
  • Report illegal explosives, like M-80s and quarter sticks, to the Police or Fire Department.