Celebrating our country’s freedom on July 4th should be an enjoyable time for all. Grilling out, watching fireworks, and decorating with patriotic items are all ways to have fun at this time of year. Each year millions of fireworks are set off on the Fourth of July and surrounding days. However, along with those fireworks comes added danger, and as a homeowners association, it’s your responsibility to ensure that your residents are safe during any festivities taking place on your property.
These are some safety guidelines that could help your association to safely celebrate the holiday and future occasions.
Know Your Community
Every HOA is different. It is important that you are thoroughly up to date and clear on all regulations first, so then you know how to prepare others living in the community. If your association allows fireworks, it is crucial that they are managed in a particular way to keep individuals and the community safe. It is your duty to enforce the rules and emphasize caution. Take a look at your existing bylaws, and consider updating them if they are outdated or insufficient.
Follow all Package Instructions
This should be self-explanatory, right but isn’t always followed.
Everyone participating must pay particular attention to the instructions about lighting the firework. Consider only allowing a specific kind so it is easier to regulate.
Broad guideline reminders:
- Never stand directly over the device when lighting it
- Light only one firework at a time and move away quickly.
- Be certain that the fireworks come in manufacturer packaging. (If they don’t, they may be from a larger package for professional displays, which are unsafe for at-home use.)
Make these instructions readily available to all association members, either through an announcement posting, a newsletter, or an email.
Require Adult Supervision
Only adults should light fireworks. Even sparklers burn at temperatures around 2,000 degrees, which is hot enough to melt some metals and quickly ignite clothing.
Children should not be allowed to play with fireworks, whether they’re lit or not. Instead, enforce that that kids use glow sticks or other light-up toys.
Never Relight “Duds”
If a firework doesn’t go off, one must proceed with caution. A dud should never just be picked up. Recommend waiting 20 minutes before approaching the firework, then soaking it in water.
Dispose of used fireworks in a similar fashion. Wet them down, then put them in a metal container away from all buildings and combustible materials until the following day.
There are a few more things you should emphasize as strictly prohibited:
- Never point or throw fireworks at someone else, an animal, or structure of any sort;
- Never carry fireworks in your pocket;
- Do not light fireworks near dry grass (or any trees and pants);
- Never shoot off fireworks from a metal or glass container;
- Do not attempt to create or light homemade fireworks.
About Scott Litman Insurance Agency
At Scott Litman Insurance Agency, we are dedicated to protecting HOA’s like yours. We have a unique understanding of the industry and the common risk exposures that you face in your daily operations. In fact, we find that 90% of the policies we review are missing coverages that violate the Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&R), exposing the board, HOA and management to lawsuits– which is why our comprehensive policies are tailored to meet your specific needs at competitive prices. For more information about our products, contact our experts today at (818) 879-5980 ext. 201, or fill out our online form.