You are no doubt used to seeing warnings about safety and fireworks during this time of year. And yes, we will remind you to please be careful of incendiary devices. But there are other things you might want to consider as well.
Watch Your Dog
The 4th of July is the biggest day of the year for lost dogs. Even dogs that are not usually disturbed by noises like thunder, often find fireworks very disturbing. When pets panic, they can run off and get lost.
- If you can, do your best to keep your pet inside and in an area where they won’t hear too much noise. If you are very close to where fireworks will be set off, make sure your dog won’t be in a position to panic in your home and injure themselves. If your dog is crate trained, this might be a good time to put them in a crate. Turn on the tv or radio with soothing noises to try to hide the noises going on outside.
- If your pet is not already microchipped, see if you can get one implanted. Microchips play a critical role in reuniting people with their pets. Chips are not terribly expensive, and are inserted through an injection. The pain is minimal. Make certain that you fill out the online form with the appropriate information, so anyone who finds your pet can connect you to the chip and bring your pet home.
- If you do take your dog outside for a walk, make certain they are leashed.
- Under no circumstances should you take your dog to a firework show. They won’t enjoy it, and they could easily panic, run off, and get injured.
Watch Your Cat
Cats can also be frightened by fireworks.
- Cats have a tendency to hide. However if they run out of the house, especially if they are not used to being outside, they can easily become lost.
- Cats should also be provided with a quiet place to relax, and be left alone if they find a hiding place.
- In addition, consider chipping your cat. The system is the same as for a dog, and if your cat gets lost, the chip can help you get them back safe and sound.
Watch the Road
The 4th of July is a very dangerous driving day. There will be a lot of car crashes. Your best bet is to be aware of the risks and to drive defensively so you can avoid a crash. There are also steps you can make to minimize your risk of being seriously injured during a crash. The National Safety Counsel warns that the time period from 6:00 pm on July 3 through midnight on July 4 is incredibly dangerous. The NSC expects over 450 fatal traffic accidents and over 53,000 car crash injuries.
- Please don’t drink and drive. Have a designated driver, call a taxi, use Uber, or Lyft, just don’t get behind the wheel.
- Remember also that you are responsible if underage people drink in your home and then hurt themselves or someone else as a result. Don’t serve alcohol to underage folks.
- If you work in a restaurant or bar, remember that if you serve too much alcohol, your business can be liable for anyone who is hurt as a result.
Watch the Fireworks
Of course, it is important to watch how you handle any fireworks. While many types of fireworks are illegal in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, the various devices that are legal can still pack quite a punch.
- Make sure you only use properly (and legally) purchased fireworks. Don’t make your own or buy them from people who aren’t licensed to sell them.
- Even sparklers can be dangerous. Many children suffer burns when using sparklers. Please explain proper use of sparklers to your children, and watch what they are doing.
- Wear safety glasses. Sparks flying up can do a lot of damage to your eyes.
- Be careful where you set off your fireworks. In dry conditions, brush or grass can go up like tinder.
- Don’t drink and firework. Save the beer until after you are done setting off the devices.
- Keep a hose and/or bucket nearby. Completely soak any fireworks after you are finished.
Stay Safe and Have a Great Holiday
Everyone at Lowenthal & Abrams wishes you, your family (including pets), and your friends a wonderful 4th of July. Please celebrate safely!