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Safety Tips for 4th of July

This weekend before you kick start the fireworks, turn on the grill and join friends and family on our day of independence there are a few things to consider. With children, pets, and other people around taking proper safety precautions is crucial to a safe and fun filled weekend. After all, no one wants to be sitting in a hospital waiting room after an injury while everyone else enjoys the great food and even better fireworks. Here are some safety tips to look out for.


For starters, obey the law! In many places, especially the very dry areas of Texas, fireworks are illegal to buy and use. If this happens to be in your area, do not do it! There is a reason. If you’re not from those areas and fireworks are legal then pop them safely.

  • Do not attempt to alter or combine firework products.
  • Never use homemade fireworks, and report illegal explosives to the nearest police department.
  • Always have water easily accessible as anything can take a turn for the worse.
  • If a firework appears to be a dud, then according to the National Council of Fireworks, wait 20 minutes before approaching the dud. Even then, do not relight it.

Firework Safety

  • Obey all local laws regarding the use of fireworks
  • Never use fireworks indoors
  • Don’t allow children to handle or use fireworks; adults should supervise all firework activities
  • Don’t drink alcohol while handling fireworks
  • Never relight a “dud” firework. Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.
  • Never carry fireworks in your pockets.
  • Always have water ready to douse a fire
  • Know your fireworks and read caution labels before igniting
  • Wear safety glasses when using fireworks
  • Soak spent fireworks with water before placing them in an outdoor garbage can
  • Avoid using homemade fireworks or illegal explosives
  • If scared, pets may react by running away or destroying your property if left inside the house by themselves.

Water Safety

  • Keep children away from pool drains, pipes, and other openings
  • Keep a watchful eye on everyone in the water
  • Teach children basic water safety tips
  • Have a throwable flotation device readily available
  • Don’t drink alcohol while swimming
  • Put young children or inexperienced swimmers in a Coast Guard approved life jacket
  • Walk carefully into open waters
  • Do not dive headfirst
  • Keep track of the local weather and pay attention to any warning signs or flags
  • Beware of aquatic life

Grilling Safety

  • Keep children and pets away from grilling area
  • Only use the grill outside
  • Keep your grill clean by removing all grease and fat buildup
  • Make sure grill is a fair distance from your home and deck railings and clear of eaves and overhanging branches
  • Use long-handled tools made specifically for cooking on the grill to keep the chef safe
  • Never add charcoal starter fluid when coals have already been ignited
  • Always follow manufacturer’s instructions when using a grill

The National Council on Fireworks Safety encourages consumers to know their fireworks. Nancy Blogin, President of the National Council on Fireworks Safety says, “Consumers should be aware of where their fireworks come from; only buy from licensed stores, stands, and tents.” Nancy also says, “A designated shooter should prepare a shooting area, carefully read the label of each firework and understand exactly what the firework will do and refrain from consuming alcohol. Planning makes for a safe and fun backyard fireworks display.”

Remember, fireworks can be dangerous, causing serious burn and eye injuries. You can help us prevent fireworks-related injuries and deaths by working with a national, state or local organization where you live to promote fireworks safety in your community.

Cooking out

Like most Americans on 4th of July, cooking on the grill is a go-to form of hanging out and enjoying some time in the sun. But like with most other activities, safety is always important.

  • Protect yourself from excessive exposure to the sun. Be sure to wear appropriate clothing such as hats, sunscreen, and shades to protect you from those unrelenting rays of sunshine.
  • Be VERY careful of suffering heatstroke or dehydration. Be sure to drink water and try your best to provide or stay under shade to keep cool.
  • Depending on the kind of grill being used, take all necessary safety steps before starting a full fire and getting your grill on.

On the Road

This year is expected to see a large amount of traveling on the roads here in Texas. Every driver should already be fully aware of their surroundings when driving but, during the fourth of July weekend, there are a number of other factors facing drivers. Some include wandering children, pets on the street, people jaywalking and ignoring traffic laws, debris from fireworks and fireworks themselves.

The main thing to remember is to have fun and enjoy your day with friends and family away from danger and in the safety of responsible and fully aware adults. Don’t rain on Uncle Sams parade by suffering an injury on his birthday and follow these links for further safety tips.

  • Online Guide to Independence Day
  • American Society and Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
  • National Council on Firework Safety

4th of July in the Rio Grande Valley

Fourth of July weekend is here folks and so are the countless festivities that come along with it. Between Weslaco and Brownsville, there are a number of events that you and your family can enjoy this holiday weekend. Take a look at the following list of events in the Rio Grande Valley to help decide which ones to go to if not all.

  • Weslaco will host a music festival on Monday, July 4th. It’s completely free of charge and open to the public. There will be plenty of bands including Veronique, Madelyn Victoria, and Puro Part Band to name a few. Live music, food and drinks, zip line, bungee games, a petting zoo, the list goes on and on at this fun-filled extravaganza. Begins at 3 pm.
  • The 4th of July beach parade at South Padre Island is free and open to the public with prizes to be given for those with the best costume, group, bike, wagon, or even stroller. Walk, stroll, and roll on the beach this holiday weekend and be sure to enjoy some sweet watermelon while you’re at it. The parade begins at 9:30 am at Beach Access #20 and will end at Beach Access #17.
  • Edinburg is cooking up a storm this weekend at the Texas Cook’em 2016 cook-off. There will be a $20,000 BBQ purse awarded to the winners, the largest in the valley. There will be fireworks, live music, a family fun zone, the best BBQ and more! Location is at the Edinburg Municipal Park on 714 Raul Longoria.
  • Brownsville is hosting their 16th annual 4th of July Parade on Monday and is asking for those attending to be patriotic and dress up their car for a chance to win a prize! There is no entry fee. The parade will begin on historic downtown Elizabeth street on Saturday morning. With the largest fireworks display over the Sports Park closing out the night, it’s sure to be a great time for all.
  • Harlingen is having their 4th annual Freedom Fest to be held on Saturday from 5 pm to 11 pm at Lon C. Hill/Fair Park Blvd. Free admission and music by The Blackbirds, Aaron Watson, and the New Wave Band to name a few.
  • McAllen will have a Concert in the Sky Fireworks Extravaganza on Monday beginning at 9 pm in the Municipal Park with local radio stations playing patriotic tunes to get the crowd going. The parade will be at Archer Park beginning at 9 am. Enjoy plenty of floats, marching bands, and entertainers as they make their way through down Main street from City Hall to Archer Park. With arts and crafts, interactive games, music and plenty of food, there’s plenty of fun for the entire family.

Have a safe and happy 4th of July Weekend!