July Fourth Safety - Central County Fire & Rescue

July Fourth Safety

Make safety part of your July Fourth celebration

The Fourth of July holiday is the perfect time for friends and family to get together, be outside, enjoy good BBQ, fun water games, and of course, fireworks.  

Whether you plan to celebrate in your back yard, at a local park, or downtown, take a few moments to make safety part of your plans. 


Fireworks Safety Tips

Though it’s tempting to set off fireworks and play with sparklers in your own backyard, don’t do it. Severe burns, blindness and even death can be caused by the misuse of fireworks. Beyond the dangers of fireworks, it is illegal to use them in the Cities of St. Peters, O’Fallon, Wentzville and Lake St. Louis. Play it safe and leave fireworks to the pros.

We suggest taking your family to see fireworks hosted by professionals in your community park. Or, you can always enjoy watching fireworks at home on your TV.

Remember all fireworks are dangerous. Firecrackers, bottle rockets, sparklers and Roman candles account for most firework injuries. If you do choose to set off your own fireworks, make sure you are in an area where it is legal, and follow these safety tips:

  • Obey all local laws.
  • Alcohol and fireworks never mix.
  • Only light fireworks on the ground and in areas that are dry and fire resistant.
  • Only use fireworks outdoors and always have a good amount of water close by (a garden hose and a metal bucket), in case of emergency.
  • Know your fireworks. Read the caution label before igniting.
  • Never throw or point fireworks at anyone or anything.
  • Sparkler wire and sticks remain hot long after the flame has gone out. Be sure to drop finished sparklers in a bucket of water.
  • Never relight a “dud” firework. Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.

Click the links below for details on St. Charles County area public fireworks displays:


BBQ and Outdoor Cooking Safety

Everybody loves a good barbecue on 4th of July, but grilling can be dangerous if you aren’t careful. Here are a few safety tips that will ensure that your Independence Day party won’t be interrupted by a grilling mishap.

  • Always supervise a barbecue grill when in use. Especially when children are present.
  • Never grill indoors. Not in your garage, camper, tent, or any enclosed area.
  • Place grill at least three feet from away from decks, siding, branches and any outdoor equipment that can catch fire.
  • Dispose of ashes in a metal container that is at least six feet from the house. 
  • Use long-handled tools especially made for cooking on the grill.
  • Check to make sure your grill is in proper working order.

Proper food handling is also an important ingredient for a successful celebration. Do not leave any perishables on a table or buffet for more than two hours and no more than one hour if the temperature is above 90 degrees.

Click here for additional safe food handling tips. 


Pool Safety

Nothing beats the pool on a hot summer day, but any body of water can be a dangerous scene. Make sure everyone near the water or in pools, ponds or lakes has the proper skills to swim, keep an eye on young children and check floatation devices for leaks.

Refresh your pool safety knowledge with these easy tips:

  • Never swim alone.
  • Follow pool rules set by lifeguard.
  • Stay close, be alert, and keep an eye out on children in the pool.
  • Don’t forget your sunscreen. Reapply every two hours.
  • Review safe boating practices if you plan to hit the lake.

 Click here for more pool safety tips.


Don’t Drink & Drive

Unfortunately, the number of traffic accidents, injuries and deaths rises significantly on and around the Fourth of July. According to the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), over the past five years nearly 800 people died in drunk driving crashes during the July Fourth holiday. These fatalities account for 40 percent of all motor vehicle traffic fatalities over this same five-year period.

Stay safe on Fourth of July with three simple driving safety tips:

  • Drink responsibly
  • Have a designated driver if you plan to drink
  • Put away the cell phone while driving

Learn more from the NHTSA here.