When you host your own sparkling Independence Day gathering for loved ones and neighbors, you use and enjoy your new outdoor kitchen and fire pit the way you’ve always dreamed of doing. But as you plan the menu and decorations for your Fourth of July celebration, keep the safety of your guests in mind too. The following tips will help you plan for a safe and fun holiday.
Survey Your Party Grounds
After you decide on your guest count, it’s time to step outside and survey your property. Create an outdoor “floor plan” to indicate where you’ll set up food, activities, and seating areas. Allow for a smooth flow between the fire pit, the grill area, and other entertainment zones.
If you want to set up a large event tent or have multiple tables on the lawn, measure the area to be certain everything will fit. Leave plenty of room around tent stakes and tables to allow people to mingle and move around safely without tripping.
Survey your property for safety hazards. Look for holes in the lawn, broken glass, and sharp edges on fencing. If you have any guests who are kids or drinkers, they’ll find the safety hazards during your party. Go ahead and fix any problem areas now, or else block off areas where you don’t want guests to go.
Keep Flammables Away From Fires
If you plan on shooting off fireworks, make sure they’re legal in your area. Never allow the fireworks to come near the outdoor fire pit or grill. Fireworks can explode instantly when exposed to high heat, so keep them indoors or locked in a vehicle until it’s time for the show.
Assemble a safety kit before shooting off any fireworks. The kit should include:
- Safety glasses
- A bucket of water
- A flashlight or lighting source
- A metal trash can
Always wear the glasses when you light fireworks. Use the flashlight to read and follow the directions on every piece of firework to avoid injury. Keep a pressurized hose close at hand while shooting off fireworks so you can instantly douse any flames.
If a firework sizzles but never actually explodes, it’s a dud. Don’t try to light it again, because it may still be burning inside. The firework could go off in your hand. Instead, put the dud in a metal trashcan for 20 minutes and then let it soak in the bucket of water from your kit.
Practice Safety Directly Around the Fire Pit
The fire pit is a wonderful place to socialize and enjoy watching the fireworks, as long as everyone is safe. The number one safety rule is to make sure you have ample lighting in the fire pit area so that when the fire dies down, guests can still see where they’re stepping.
Clean out the fire pit thoroughly before your party. Removing old ash and fire debris leaves plenty of material for new fires. Use seasoned wood for your Fourth-of-July fires, since greener wood may pop and send sparks into your guests.
Provide seating that doesn’t impede traffic flow around the fire pit area. You should also provide seating that can be moved closer or farther away from the fire so people can choose their comfort level when the flames are roaring. Don’t set up any décor or refreshment stations around the fire pit that may cause people to trip and fall. Make certain there are no flammable decorations, pillows, or other party items near the fire pit.
Use a Mix of Techniques to Repel Bugs
Ticks, fleas, mosquitoes, and other insects can ruin a fun evening. One of the best ways to ensure they won’t eat up your partygoers is to groom your outdoor areas a day or so ahead of the party. Mow the grass close to the ground and trim weeds along walkways and paths. Ticks and other bugs love to hang out on tall grass and in trees waiting for a tasty human to come along.
Sprinkle diatomaceous earth (DE) around your property where guests will mingle. This nontoxic substance won’t harm pets or people—unless you breathe it in while applying it. (Use a mask while you spread DE.)
Citronella plants and candles sometimes repel mosquitoes. Other people report that burning sage or tossing some lemon balm into the fire pit will keep bugs away. As you may have heard, smoke will repel most insects, so it can’t hurt to make a lot of smoke in your grill or fire pit before your party to chase off bugs ahead of time.
During the party, periodically toss a bundle of sage, cedar bark, or lavender into the fire. Your party will smell great to the humans you want to stay and be horrible-smelling to the bugs you want to go away.
Trust Alpine Fireplaces to outfit your property for memorable summer parties. Install an outdoor grill, fire pit, or gas log fireplace today to add comfort and warmth to all of your backyard celebrations.