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Celebrate the Fourth of July safely


Independence Day is just over a week away so now is the time to think about the safety essentials for you and your family as you enjoy some time off.  To help ensure a happy and safe Fourth of July weekend, review the following safety tips related to extreme heat, thunderstorms, fireworks and water-related activities.

Heat Safety

Extreme heat is responsible for the highest number of annual weather-related deaths. Temperatures are once again forecast to be in the 90s for the Fourth of July weekend. Be mindful of the following to help keep your family cool and safe.

  • If you choose to be outside during high temperatures:
    • Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated
    • Wear lightweight, loose-fitting and light-colored clothing
    • Wear a hat wide enough to protect your face
    • Find shade to minimize direct exposure to the sun
    • Apply sunscreen to avoid sunburn
  • Know the signs of heat-related illnesses and how to treat them. Older adults and children are at greater risk from extreme heat.
  • Consider pet safety
    • Make sure they have plenty of cool water and access to shade
    • Asphalt and dark pavement can be very hot to your pet’s feet

Find more information on heat safety at and

Severe Weather Safety

There is an increased chance for thunderstorms on the Fourth of July weekend. Always remember when thunder roars, go indoors! If there is severe weather in the forecast or you are under a thunderstorm warning, consider the following:  

  • Have multiple ways to receive alerts and warnings.
  • Make sure you have an emergency plan in place if severe weather occurs, especially when boating or engaging in other water-related activities.
  • Turn Around. Don’t Drown! Do not drive through flooded roadways.

For more information on lightning and thunderstorm safety, visit

Fireworks Safety

The National Safety Council recommends enjoying public fireworks displays conducted by professionals and not using fireworks at home. Enjoy the Light the Lake firework show in Clemson on July 3 or find another local Fourth of July celebration to attend.

If you choose to buy and use fireworks at home, remember:

  • Only use them away from people, houses and flammable material
  • Only light one device at a time
  • Maintain a safe distance after lighting
  • Soak both spent and unused fireworks in water for a few hours before discarding them.
  • Avoid sparklers and consider using safer alternatives, such as glow sticks, confetti poppers or colored streamers.

Important: Ensure fireworks are permitted in your area. Some local ordinances may prohibit the use of fireworks.

For more information on fireworks safety, visit the National Safety Council website.

Water Safety

In 2023, South Carolina ranked as the fourth-highest state for reported recreational boating incidents. Consider the following tips to help you and your family stay safe when out on the water.

  • Wear your life jacket and other appropriate equipment.
  • File a float plan, including where you’re going and when you plan to return, with a friend or family member remaining on shore.
  • Exercise good judgment when on the water, be considerate of others and always boat sober.
  • Be aware of weather and water conditions and have a plan, as weather conditions can change quickly.

For more information on water safety, visit or the National Safety Council website.