We are less than a week away from everyone’s favorite summer holiday, the 4th of July! Many people will be spending the 4th gathering at backyard barbecues across the country to eat, drink, and celebrate together with friends and family. This holiday is well loved because it not only gives us an opportunity to celebrate the freedom and independence of our country, but also gives us a mid-summer break from our daily commitments. However you plan to celebrate the 4th of July this year, we at Hendricksen Tree Care would like to urge you to please be safe with your celebration both around others and your landscape itself.
Most 4th of July celebrations contain three things that are fire hazards on your property; grilling, bonfires, and of course, fireworks. With a heat advisory coming up this weekend, the heat and flames created by these activities have an even higher chance of resulting in injuries, property damage, and even damage to your trees and shrubs if the proper care is not taken. At Hendricksen Tree Care, we are concerned about the safety of your trees, but this is because we ultimately care about your safety. If fireworks or a bonfire cause your trees or shrubs to catch fire, the fire can spread quickly to your home or your guests. Even if the fire stays contained to a tree, it could damage the tree enough to cause fallen branches or even the collapse of the tree which puts everyone in your yard in immediate danger.
Please make sure you review this guide and take these fire safety tips into account this 4th of July to ensure that you celebrate safely with your friends and family. If your trees or shrubs are damaged as a result of your 4th of July festivities, our professional arborists at Henricksen Tree Care can help get your trees back to health with our tree care services.
4th of July Fire Hazards
There are more calls made to the fire department on the 4th of July than any other day of the year. As we mentioned above, there are three popular activities done on the 4th of July that can lead to fire damage and injuries. This is why we urge you to please take every safety precaution necessary to avoid a fire on your property. The following are the most common causes of fires on the 4th of July with some tips to stay safe.
Fireworks in Chicagoland
We must start with fireworks, one of the most popular activities on the 4th of July. People all over the Chicago area celebrate each year with fireworks, both legal and illegal. All fireworks are potential fire hazards, but illegal fireworks are more of a risk. These statistics show the importance of being safe with fireworks:
- 70 percent of all injuries caused by fireworks occur between June 20 and July 20
- 40 percent of these injuries occur to children under 15 years of age
You can help reduce the risk of firework related injuries and fires with the following safety tips:
- Use legal fireworks: Fireworks that are illegal in Illinois are typically responsible for the most cases of fires and injuries. Use legal fireworks to be on the safe side. You will reduce your risk of a serious accident as well as the risk of getting in trouble for being caught with illegal fireworks.
- Have water nearby: When using fireworks, you should have a source of water near, such as a bucket of water, hose, or fire extinguisher in case something happens. It’s also wise to dump water on used fireworks before throwing them away as well as fireworks that are “duds.”
- Find space: Make sure you light fireworks in a space that is away from your home, garage, trees, and shrubs. You should also have enough space to get away from the fireworks once you light the fuse.
- Supervise children: There should always be an adult supervising children who are using fireworks. Even seemingly safe fireworks like sparklers can cause injuries that send children to the emergency room.
Many people celebrate the 4th of July with cookouts and every cookout has someone manning the grill. Whether you are using a propane grill or charcoal grill, the risk of a fire is always there. It is very important for whoever is working the grill to be vigilant and cautious:
- 57 percent of grill fires happen during the summer months
- 69 percent of grill fires are caused by propane grills
The following tips will help you prevent mishaps from grilling:
- Use your grill outdoors, about 10 feet away from your home, garage, or shed. You should also make sure there are no tree branches overhead that could catch fire from the heat. Keep pets and children away from the grill at all times.
- Make sure you clean grease and other debris from the grill before use. If using a gas grill, open the grill and wait a minute before igniting it. If using a charcoal grill, do not use anything other than charcoal lighter fluid to start the grill.
- Keep baking soda handy so you can use it to put out a grease fire. Do not ever use water to put out a grease fire.
- Do not wear loose clothing when grilling.
Bonfires in Chicago & Suburbs
The best way to end a 4th of July celebration is with a bonfire in the evening. Whether you are having a bonfire in your backyard, or a camp fire in a park, you must take the proper safety precautions to ensure that the fire is started and put out safely:
- If you are starting a camp fire in a park, make sure it is legal to do so. Some parks may have fire bans in the summer.
- Make sure the area is clear of debris within five feet of the fire. Keep the extra wood a safe distance from the fire as well.
- When starting a bonfire on your property, make sure it is a safe distance from your home, garage, or shed, and that there are no tree branches over the fire pit.
- The fire must be fully extinguished before leaving the area. Dump water on the fire and use a shovel to stir the embers and ensure that they are out.
Tree Services from Trusted Arborists
We at Hendricksen Tree Care would like to wish everyone a safe and happy 4th of July and we hope that our tips will help you celebrate safely. If you experience fire damage to your property due to a mishap, you must call the fire department and follow up with a fire damage restoration professional to get your property back to normal. If one of your trees is damaged because of an errant firework or flames form a bonfire, our arborists at Hendricksen Tree Care can help. We provide full tree care and maintenance including tree trimming services, to remove the damaged areas of your tree so that it can continue to grow normally. We also provide tree removal services for trees that have become heavily damaged and must be removed.
You can contact Hendricksen Tree Care by calling (847) 305-5524. We provide tree care services in the north and northwest Chicago suburbs including Arlington Heights, Northbrook, Mt. Prospect, Palatine, Lake Zurich, Libertyville, and Park Ridge.