Healthy You - Every Day

Celebrating Independence Day, the Safe Way

Tips and reminders for a safe Fourth of July celebration

Independence day, fire pit safety tips

Enjoying family and friends, the summer weather and our freedom is what celebrating Independence Day is all about. But with some of the celebration comes opportunities for injuries. The Lehigh Valley DUI/Highway Safety Task Force, of which Lehigh Valley Health Network is a member, has these tips and reminders:


The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)says an estimated 15,600 people ended up in emergency rooms last year due to fireworks-related injuries, most involving burns and traumatic injuries to the hands, legs and head. While current Pennsylvania law does permit the sale, purchase and use of Class C fireworks by consumers, there are restrictions about where and when they can be used which can vary by municipality. The Lehigh Valley DUI/Highway Safety Task Force recommends that the best way to enjoy fireworks is to leave them to the professionals.

Outdoor cooking

Barbeque and grill just as you would in your kitchen – with safety in mind, especially considering July and June rank one and two as peak months for grill fires. Check your gas grill hose line for cracks, holes and leaks. If your hair is long, make sure it’s pulled back, and if you happen to have on a long-sleeved shirt, roll up the sleeves. Also, keep young children away from the grill, and never leave the grill unattended. Don’t grill indoors, in an enclosed area or near items that can easily catch fire.

Backyard fire pits

In some communities, outdoor fire pits, fire rings and chimneys using wood are prohibited. Natural gas or propane fire pits – if installed per the International Fire Code and approved by a fire inspector – are allowed in some communities. Check on the legal use of backyard fire pits with your local municipality. Should you have an outdoor fire pit, make sure it is always monitored and that children aren’t permitted near it – even for s’mores making – without adult supervision.

Holiday travel

The National Safety Council reports that nearly 500 people died in crashes nationwide during the 4th of July holiday period in 2019, and nearly 40 percent of those crashes involved alcohol. The organization estimates that more than 480 people may die in crashes this Independence Day weekend. If you are planning to travel for the holiday, only drive if you are sober, make sure all your vehicle occupants are buckled up and take your time. You could save a life.

4th of July Safety Tips

Explore More Articles