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Growing up I could not wait for the 4 th of July. In some ways I still can’t wait for this holiday to
arrive. The day most everyone in our country celebrates our nation’s independence from Great
Brittan and the start of this great country. For me Independence Day was, and always will be,
the greatest holiday of the year. Trips to the beach for tubing, skiing, fishing, BBQ’s with friends
and family and fireworks. Seriously, what other holiday can you buy unlimited amounts of
fireworks?

As a child I would mow as many lawns as I could find to collect as much money as possible. I
would then get my parents to drive me down the street to one of the fireworks stands that
seemed to magically pop up overnight about a week before the 4th. I would buy every
firecracker, bottle rocket, and Roman candle I could get my hands on. My family and I would
shoot off everything we bought for the day, only to start all over the next day with a new trip to
the fireworks stand. This would go on for an entire week leading up to the 4 th . As an adult not
much has changed other than both the paycheck and the fireworks have gotten a little bigger.

For all the fun and excitement that shooting off fireworks can bring, there is also a dangerous
side that everyone should be mindful of. If not handled properly, fireworks can quickly ruin your
weekend of celebration as I experienced firsthand a few years ago.

I was back home visiting my parents over the 4 th of July weekend. I was awoken at 3 am by my
parents who were frantically calling the fire department. The detached garage on the house
across the street from them was on fire. I don’t mean just a small flame and smoke, I mean a full
on raging fire with dark smoke billowing into the night sky.

Come to find out the neighbors had been shooting off fireworks that evening and they just threw
the used fireworks into their trash which they stored in their garage. They failed to make sure
the used fireworks were completely put out by spraying or soaking them in water. This may not
seem like a big deal but sometime in the night a fire started in the trash can and spread. By the
time anyone had noticed the fire it had completely engulfed the detached garage. The fire was
burning so hot it was starting to melt the siding on their home located a few feet away. It was
truly a terrifying site.

Thankfully the neighbors were able to get out of the house and nobody was injured. Witnessing
this made for a very eye-opening experience for me seeing the danger of fireworks first hand.
As a child I did not think anything of the potential danger, but as an adult I realized that if I was
not careful that could be my house next. I found out later that my parent’s neighbors were not
alone. According to the National Fire Protection Association, there are approximately 19,500
fires that occur due to fireworks each year 1 . There are also about 9,100 visits to the ER each 4 th
of July 2 due to injuries caused by improper firework handling. If you are not careful, both fire and
personal injury can quickly turn a harmless celebration into a 4 th of July you would like to forget.

Our friends at Armed Forces Insurance are dedicated to helping your family in all situations,
including helping you to ensure your Independence Day celebration goes off without a hitch.
Below are some helpful tips to make sure you and your family have a safe and fun
Independence Day celebration:

1. Always have adult supervision when shooting fireworks
2. Always wear eye protection
3. Make sure you are in a safe area to use fireworks
4. Alcohol and fireworks do not mix
5. Follow label instructions and use common sense
6. Do not point or throw a firework at another person
7. Have hose or buckets of water handy to put out any flames
8. Never shoot a firework in metal or glass containers
9. Light one firework at a time
10. Never attempt to re-light a firework
11. Never have any portion of your body over the firework
12. Don’t experiment with homemade fireworks.
13. Before throwing away your firework, completely soak them in water.

Along with these helpful tips, this is also a great time to review your personal insurance policy to
make sure you have the proper coverages on your auto, home, liability, life and health
insurances. All of these policies could come into play if your 4 th of July celebration takes an
unexpected turn for the worse. Ensuring you and your family are properly protected against life’s
most unexpected events is a great way to give yourself peace of mind in case things go
sideways. For those who would like a free quote, have questions, or would like to simply discuss
their personal insurance needs and get more information, head on over to Armed Forces
Insurance or call 1-800-313-1936.

The 4th of July is an excellent time to take a break from everyday life, celebrate the nation’s
founding with family and friends, and of course enjoy the fireworks. By exercising a little caution,
you can ensure that your celebration is a safe and happy one. Whether you will be out on the
river, like I will be this year, or gathering with friends and family in your back yard I would like to
wish everyone a very happy and safe 4th of July.

Those are just a few tips from Armed Forces Insurance regarding home and personal safety
tips. For a more tips on this and other topics, head over to Armed Forces Insurance –
Resources and Tools page.

As a military family, you need insurance that matches your needs and protects what you value
most. You deserve an insurance company that is committed to serving you. MilHousing Network
is proud to partner with Armed Forces Insurance to bring military families reliable homeowner’s
insurance options when buying a home. Contact them today at 800-313-1936 or visit
www.afi.org/milhousing to learn how they can support your unique military lifestyle.

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