Celebrate July 4 Safely at Your Church

Manage risks that come with gatherings, food, and fireworks

Ministries often celebrate the 4th of July by offering community gatherings that can include picnics, ball games, bounce houses, concerts, and especially fireworks. If your church is planning an event this Independence Day, remember to keep a focus on safety, so that everyone can have fun.

Viewing

Although viewing a community fireworks display from afar cuts down on a lot of the risk that comes with a 4th of July event, there are still many considerations to keep in mind.

When hosting a large gathering of people, it is important that your church is prepared to deal with any accidents or emergencies that may come its way. Some include:

  • Medical emergencies. Have a CPR trained staff member, or medical team, on hand to respond in case of medical emergencies. Even “safe” fireworks, such as sparklers, can easily ignite clothing and cause burns.
  • Heat exhaustion. If temperatures are high or your church is hosting athletic games, like flag football or baseball, provide a cooler of water and remind people to stay hydrated and to take breaks to cool down.
  • Food poisoning. If your church is having a picnic or serving perishable food, be sure to follow food safety guidelines. Clean and sanitize food preparation areas. Store and serve food at correct temperatures, and do not leave food out for more than two hours. Label food items for guests with allergies.
  • Injuries from inflatables. Bounce houses, slides, obstacle courses and other inflatable amusements must be set up properly and supervised carefully to prevent injuries.

Launching

If fireworks will be launched at your event, keep in mind that fireworks are dangerous explosives that can cause fires or serious injuries if handled improperly. Plan any fireworks display so that it complies with local ordinances and safety codes.

More than 10,000 people are treated in U.S. hospital emergency rooms each year for injuries associated with fireworks, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Most of the people injured were amateurs launching fireworks or people viewing amateur firework displays. The safest way to provide fireworks for your congregation is by hiring a professional pyrotechnician. Don’t place a church volunteer or employee in charge of launching fireworks for the crowd.

Before hosting a church event, check with your insurance agent to make sure that your policy provides enough liability coverage. If not, ask whether you can buy additional coverage for the occasion.

Keeping these tips in mind can help you offer your community a fun and safe July 4 celebration.