Commissioner Causey provides Fourth of July fireworks and grilling safety tips in new video

North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey is reminding everyone to play it safe around fireworks and the grill in a new video release. 

“While the Fourth of July is an important time to celebrate our nation’s independence with family and friends, it is important to make safety a priority,” said Commissioner Causey. “Sadly, many people are injured or killed on this holiday every year because of misusing fireworks or practicing unsafe grilling techniques.

Commissioner Causey joined the Aberdeen Fire Department last week with a new video to highlight how to stay safe on the Fourth of July this year.

Click here to watch the video.

Fireworks present a serious risk of personal injury as well as property damage. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), fireworks start an average of 19,500 fires each year, including 1,900 structure fires, 500 vehicle fires and nearly 17,000 other fires.

According to the U. S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), in 2021, at least nine people died, and an estimated 11,500 were injured in incidents involving fireworks, with an estimated 74% of these injuries occurring from mid-June to mid-July. Injuries can result from smoke inhalation or being hit by a firework or falling shrapnel and can result in burns, vision loss, hearing loss, or loss of fingers and toes.

Commissioner Causey has provided the following fireworks safety tips:

•    Never let children light fireworks or use sparklers unattended.
•    Use fireworks in a clear area outdoors, away from dry leaves, people, pets, buildings, vehicles, overhead obstructions, or anything combustible.
•    Be aware of windy or drought conditions that could alter the trajectory of fireworks or start fires.
•    Have a bucket of water or hose around in case of an unexpected fire or firework “duds”.
•    Never throw or point fireworks at anyone or ignite fireworks in a container.
•    Stabilize fireworks on the ground before lighting, preferably on a fire-safe surface such as a cement pad or a driveway. Never light a firework in your hand.
•    Only light one firework at a time, and then move back quickly to a safe location.
•    Never carry fireworks in your pocket. Never place any part of your body over a firework while lighting its fuse.
•    Don’t pick up or try to re-light a “dud” firework. Wait 20 minutes and then soak them in water.
•    Douse all spent fireworks with water and then place them in a covered metal trash can away from buildings or combustibles until the next day.
•    Never use fireworks while impaired by alcohol or drugs. 
•    Only purchase and use fireworks labeled for consumer (not professional) use.

The following tips from the Commissioner will help keep you safe when grilling up Independence Day staples:

•    Propane and charcoal grills should only be used outdoors
•    The grill should be placed far away from the home and deck railings
•    Keep children and pets at least 10 feet away from the grill area
•    Never leave your grill unattended and always open the gas grill lid before lighting it
•    If using starter fluid, use only charcoal starter fluid. Never add charcoal fluid or any other flammable liquids to the fire. Keep charcoal fluid out of the reach of children
•    When you are finished grilling, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container
•    If you smell gas while cooking, immediately get away from the grill and call the fire department. Do not move the grill

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Angela Brown
Angela Brown is the author of our Business & Economy section.