Whether you plan to fire up the grill, camp out for fireworks, or simply pull up a lawn chair, celebrating Independence Day is a great day to spend with friends and family! If you're hosting the Fourth of July festivities this year, rest assured that just a little preparation upfront will have your guests starry eyed, no big outing necessary.
No Fourth of July celebration is complete without a proud showing of stars, stripes and patriotic colors. Dress your home exterior up in garlands, bunting and streamers, or opt for some classic American flag decor. Remember to follow proper flag etiquette by not letting it touch the ground, and either taking it down at sunset, or illuminating it after-dark.
Sparkle with safety
Though beautiful, fireworks cause over 50,000 fires annually. Begin by reviewing any firework bans or restrictions in your community, and confirming you have the correct number for the fire department on hand. Designate a bucket of water for disposing of used fireworks and secure safety glasses and gloves for handlers. Consider alternative ways to light up the night including sparklers, bang snap poppers, or glow stick jewelry.
Get to grilling
To celebrate a holiday synonymous with burgers and hot dogs … fire up the grill! While stocking up on condiments, also pick up a spare food thermometer to check the internal temperature of meat, poultry and seafood. Be considerate of your vegetarian and dietary restricted guests by having some alternative options on hand, including meat-free patties and gluten-free buns. While you’re at it, brush up on some grilling safety tips.
Take precautions for pets
Some pets may be distressed by firework noise and light, either tearing up belongings or cowering in fear. While your first instinct may be to keep them close, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, pets are safest in a quiet, sheltered and escape-proof area at home. Designate a comfortable room to any anxious pets and consider drawing the blinds or investing in a compression vest. Check in every now and then, to reassure them that everything is okay.
Supervise outdoor play
If hosting guests with little ones, survey your home for hard surfaces, sharp corners and choking hazards. If you have a pool, strictly enforce pool rules. Keep a first aid kit nearby, as well as a ring buoy and reach poles. If you have a trampoline, inspect for tears, rust or missing parts. Develop a supervision system so children will be monitored at all times.
Keep bugs and burns at bay
It’s easy to forget the basics when you’re having fun! Keep plenty of cold water on hand for guests, as well as ample sunscreen and an effective bug spray. If creepy crawlies run particularly rampant in your neck of the woods, consider some more intensive measures.
Happy Independence Day week, from the Motto Mortgage family!