July is perhaps the most jubilant time of year. The month begins with a bang with the Fourth of July, and is followed by a full schedule of picnics, pool parties, family reunions, backyard barbecues, and other summer fun. There are plenty of good times to go around, but the key to any fun and successful summer celebration starts with safety. Here are some tips to protect you and your guests while enjoying all that July has to offer.
Fireworks can be a fun way to add to festivities, but improper handling could send your party up in smoke. Each year, approximately 18,500 fires are attributed to fireworks, so always follow proper safety procedures. That means only lighting fireworks from a flat, stable surface like a patio and always have a garden hose or bucket of water nearby. Only sober individuals should be handling fireworks, and they should be wearing safety glasses.
When lighting projectiles, aim away from houses and other structures. Before the party, clear the roof of any leaves or branches. While roofing material is made to be fire resistant, that organic material is not, and it could lead to a fire and serious roof damage should sparks or a wayward firecracker land there. Always check local regulations regarding firework laws and bans and never light fireworks during a drought.
Any day is a good day for grilling, but just any place won’t do. The key to grilling safety begins with where you locate the grill. Keep it at least ten feet away from home exteriors, deck railings, garages, and sheds. If a fire does flare up, you want the grill to be a safe distance away to avoid structure fires. Grills burn very hot, and even without a fire, that heat could deteriorate or even melt exteriors such as vinyl siding, necessitating new siding installation. Never grill in an enclosed area, and keep it away from wooden overhangs, trees, and bushes.
If you’re decorating for Independence Day or another celebration, keep streamers, baskets, pillows, and other decorations off the grill. Make sure it is set on stable ground, and it’s recommended to place a grill pad underneath to keep grease stains off flooring material. If you use a gas grill, make sure the grill top is open before firing it up, or else you could be met with a fireball upon opening. Have a fire extinguisher on-hand in case of emergencies and keep a small spray bottle nearby to put out minor flare ups.
July is a great time for having fun in the sun, but in one of the hottest months of the year in the Mid-Atlantic, you can have too much of a good thing. Spending time outdoors when temperatures are hot can present health problems like heat stroke and dehydration, especially when mixed with alcoholic beverages. Make sure your party has plenty of shaded areas where guests can escape the sun. Have fans and misting bottles available should they need extra help cooling down, and ensure there is ample bottled water available, not just sugary drinks and adult beverages. Additionally, be on the lookout for signs of heat stroke, which include rapid breathing, racing pulse, flushed skin tones, nausea, headaches, and altered mental states.
The staff at Schaefer Exteriors wishes everyone a happy and safe time at your Fourth of July party or other summer fun. If you have any questions about your home exteriors, or how to keep the surfaces safe this summer, give us a call at 888-781-4028.