Independence Day celebrations just wouldn’t be the same without fireworks. While some
people will watch fireworks displays, others will choose to shoot off their own fireworks.
But before you celebrate with a bang this year, make sure you’re prepared. It’s important
to know what your insurance will and won’t cover if there’s an accident.

Fireworks damage at your home

The National Fire Protection Association says people report more fires on the Fourth of
July than on any other day of the year. While most people know fireworks can be unsafe,
many assume homeowners insurance will cover any damage they cause. Although it is
true that homeowners insurance usually covers most fires, there are exceptions. Check
with your agent or review your policy to see if your insurance excludes fireworks-related
coverage.

Injuries caused by fireworks

Any fireworks injuries to yourself or your family will likely be covered under your health
insurance. Your homeowners’ policy steps in when your fireworks injure someone else.
Specifically, the liability portion of it usually will pay that person’s medical bills as well
as legal expenses up to the limits of the policy.

Safety tips

If you’re going to celebrate this July Fourth with firecrackers or other explosives,
consider taking the following precautions before the festivities begin:

  • Always have adult supervision when handling fireworks
  • Never use them while intoxicated
  • Don’t throw or aim them at other people
  • Have a hose, bucket of water or fire extinguisher nearby
  • Always wear safety glasses when lighting fireworks
  • Keep all spectators at a reasonable and safe distance
  • Keep dogs and other pets away
  • Follow and read the directions carefully
  • Allow used fireworks to stand for at least 20 minutes
  • Later, cover them in water, then drain and put them in plastic bag before throwing them away
  • Do the same with any “duds” that don’t go off after a few minutes
  • Also, don’t try to relight these duds
  • Never shoot fireworks from a metal or glass container
  • Only use them outdoors on a flat, fireproof, hard surface that’s free from flammable material

Also, an important reminder, setting off fireworks is illegal without a permit in most
major towns and cities in Oklahoma.
The best way to make sure you are properly insured for this holiday is to talk to your
insurance company or agent about your specific policy. The Oklahoma Insurance
Department can also answer insurance-related questions. Call 1-800-522-0071 or visit
our website at www.ok.gov/oid/.
Have a safe and happy Fourth of July!