Independence Day is for celebrating! Whether you’re keeping it low-key and grilling at home or celebrating big with fireworks and friends, safety is especially important on this summer holiday. The National Safety Council has tips for staying safe this Independence Day weekend.

The National Safety Council advises the best way to safely enjoy this 4th of July is to watch a public fireworks display conducted by professionals. However, if fireworks are legal where you live and you decide to use them, be sure to follow these important safety tips:
•Never allow young children to handle fireworks. Older children should use fireworks only under close adult supervision.
•Light fireworks one at a time, in a clear outdoor area away from onlookers, houses and flammable materials.
•Do not aim fireworks at another individual and never place any part of your body over a firework.
•Keep a bucket of water nearby to fully extinguish fireworks that don't go off or in case of fire, and do not try to re-light or handle malfunctioning fireworks. If you are in an area experiencing drought-like conditions, reconsider using fireworks due to the increase in fire risk.
•“Safe and sane” fireworks are neither. Fireworks and sparklers are designed to explode or throw off showers of hot sparks.

Nice weather is ideal for celebrations but can present serious hazards, especially to children and the elderly.
•Heatstroke and heat exhaustion are serious, life-threatening illnesses characterized by an extreme rise in body temperature.
•If you are concerned that someone is suffering from overheating, move them to the shade and call for emergency assistance, if necessary.

A natural combatant for the heat is to find a body of water to enjoy. Remember these key ways to stay safe when swimming or boating.
•When boating, every member should wear a life jacket.
•Check to be sure your child’s life jacket is fitted appropriately.
•Don’t drink and drive – even on your boat. New alcohol boating law in effect as of May 15, 2013.
•Don’t leave children unattended when swimming, even in a kiddie pool.

Following these steps will go a long way to ensuring a safe and fun Independence Day celebration for everyone.