The Fourth of July is one of the most significant dates in all of US history; however, amongst all the patriotic revelry, we can’t allow ourselves to forget our mutual responsibility to look out for our safety and that of our fellow Americans. Below. We’ve gathered just a few tips for staying safe during this year’s Fourth of July celebrations.

Keep an eye on pets

Fireworks may be spectacular, but pets don’t tend to appreciate them. In fact, many animals are terrified by fireworks and frequently react with panic.

It’s best to ensure that either you or someone you trust are keeping an eye on the pets this Fourth of July – especially when firework hour comes around. Many pets react to fireworks by running away from home or damaging property in a panic. Having a human present, especially one that they trust, can do a great deal to help keep them calm.

Keep safe from the sun

The height of summer may be a great time for celebrations, but it’s also a great time to catch some serious sunburn. If you’re planning on an outdoorsy sort of Independence Day, it’s best to be sure that you – and the kids, especially – are safe from the dangers of the sun. Make sure you’ve applied sunscreen, and keep a hat and shades on at all times.

Grill and cook responsibly 

Chances are that you’re looking to incorporate a classic American-style cookout into your Fourth of July celebrations. If so, you’ll also need to be sure that you’re careful with the grill. Make sure you’re out in the open air – even an open garage or roofed patio will likely be too closed-off – and that, if you’re using a gas grill, you’ve checked it for any leaks or dents. And of course, make sure you keep an eye on any pets or kids joining the cookout – as great as grills are, they can also be dangerous when mishandled.

Exercise extra caution with fireworks

Perhaps this one goes without saying; but fireworks, being a staple of Independence Day celebrations, need an extra level of care.

If you choose to set off your own fireworks, then be absolutely certain that they’re from a reliable source – no illegal or improperly made fireworks, and certainly none that you’ve put together yourself. When launching them, ensure that you are a safe distance away; and do not, under any circumstances, allow the kids to handle them. Fireworks can be spectacular and fun, but they can also ruin the entire day if they aren’t handled right.

Drink Responsibly

If you’re planning to add an extra level of merriment to your celebrations with a little bit of booze, then be sure to do so responsibly. Drinking responsibly is always important, of course, but all the more so on a day like Independence Day, which is apt to be filled with heavy traffic and lots of fireworks – all of which can pose a fair bit of danger when you’ve allowed yourself to over-imbibe and aren’t in complete control of your actions.