In 1776, 56 representatives signed the Declaration of Independence and America was born.

Two hundred forty-two years later, over 300 million Americans celebrate the Fourth of July.

Whether you’re honoring the holiday with fireworks, hot dogs, pool parties or all three, don’t lose sight of security. As a host, it’s your responsibility to ensure you and your guests have a safe celebration.

Below, we’ve put together a list of tips for a safe Fourth of July party.

Fireworks Safety

Thousands of Americans are treated for fireworks-related injuries every Independence Day. If you plan on ending the night with a bang, there are several precautions you must consider to ensure the safety of you and your guests.

  • Soak all used fireworks in a bucket before throwing them away. This helps prevent any active fuses from catching fire.
  • Use fireworks outdoors in a clear area away from your home.
  • Light only one firework at a time.
  • Test all of your home’s smoke detectors before your party to ensure you and your guests are protected if a fire starts.

Fireworks are meant to be fun. Along with the tips mentioned above, always be careful and use common sense around fire.

Grilling Safety

According to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council (NHDSC), 150 million hot dogs are eaten on the Fourth of July. Whether you plan on grilling hot dogs or other foods, be especially cautions when barbequing.

  • Use your grill at least 10 feet away from your home and keep it clear from any party decorations, trees or overhangs.
  • Always check for your grill’s propane tank and hook up for gas leaks prior to starting.
  • Keep a hose or fire extinguisher nearby in case of a fire.
  • Make sure all smoke alarms and carbon dioxide detectors are working properly before you start the grill.
  • Never leave the grill unattended, and always make sure the lid is closed while it’s still hot.

For more grilling guidelines to keep you, your home and your guests safe, visit the National Fire Protection Association.

Pool Safety

Fourth of July is prime pool party weather. But before you make a splash, you must take the proper precautions to keep everyone safe. Consider the following pool safety tips:

  • Always supervise children. Unfortunately, over 200 young kids drown each year in backyard swimming pools. Let’s work to lower this tragic number by always having someone watching.
  • Always close up when the pool is not in use. This means locking gates, covering the pool with a tarp, and installing sensor monitors around the pool or on the gate. This way, you’re always notified if someone enters the water without your permission.
  • Only allow people in the pool who know how to swim and keep proper safety equipment, like U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets, easily accessible.

For more pool safety information on creating a secure pool environment, visit the American Red Cross.

Home Security

Lastly, make home security a priority. Most Fourth of July parties are held in backyards and outside of homes. Secure the inside of your home and always lock your front doors and first-floor windows, keep garages shut and be aware of who is in your home. For more protection, consider installing the following security equipment:

A break-in is the last thing you want to happen during your party. Take the necessary home security precautions and have a safe and enjoyable Fourth of July.

How do you prepare for a safe Fourth of July party? Share in the comments below.