Firestorm Wishes You a Safe Fourth of July
Firestorm wishes you a happy, fun and most importantly, safe Fourth of July weekend!
If you are planning a fun-filled weekend with family and friends, be sure you are taking the right precautions prior to festivities.
Did you know, according to the NFPA Fireworks Report:
- In 2013, U.S. hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 11,400 people for fireworks related injuries;
- 55% of those injuries were to the extremities.
- 38% were to the head.
- The risk of fireworks injury is highest for young people ages 0-4, followed by children 10-14.
- On July 4th in a typical year, far more U.S. fires are reported than on any other day, and fireworks account for two out of five of those fires, more than any other cause of fires.
Fireworks and Insurance
It is important to check with your insurer to see if you are properly covered for liability and damage to your home or business resulting from the use of fireworks. Fireworks are illegal in most incorporated towns and cities, so you need to check if your policy excludes fireworks-related coverage. Homeowner policies typically exclude damages caused by illegal activities and may exclude coverage for fireworks completely.
If you live in an area where fireworks are legal, ask whether your policy calls for specific safety precautions before using fireworks on your property. Structural damage to your property may be covered under a standard homeowners policy should any lit fireworks land on your roof or spark a grass fire, for example. However, it is important to note possible repercussions of filing a claim. If you file two or more claims, your rates could rise when your policy renews or your policy may not be renewed at all.
The Harmful Side of Fireworks
The use of fireworks comes with risk and the potential for serious injuries. Even sparklers can burn as hot as 1,200 degrees, which can cause severe burns.
Personal liability typically protects you and your family for negligence if someone is injured or someone else’s property is damaged. Additionally, “medical payments” in a homeowner’s policy can protect you from medical expenses in the event guests are injured by fireworks on your property. Be sure to verify the monetary limits outlined in your home insurance policy and look into additional coverage, if needed.
Here are some safety tips to review before your Independence Day celebration:
- Fireworks should only be used outdoors. Light fireworks in a clear area away from houses or flammable materials such as dry leaves or grass.
- Make sure other people are out of range before lighting fireworks.
- Never ignite fireworks in a container.
- Keep a bucket of water nearby in case of fireworks emergencies.
- Do not relight or handle malfunctioning fireworks. Wait 20 minutes and then soak them in water before throwing them away.
- Do not place any part of your body over a firework while lighting it.
- Do not experiment with homemade fireworks.
- Know your fireworks and read the caution label before igniting.
The best way to prevent fireworks-related damages is to attend a public display, but if you cannot resist celebrating with your own fireworks, make sure you are protected from potential fire damage and injury.
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