Ensure your Independence Day weekend is filled with celebration and not regret with these 10 fire safety tips, from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region V office in Chicago:

  1. Be sure fireworks are legal in your area before using or buying them.
  2. Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities and never allow children to play with or ignite fireworks. Sparklers alone account for one quarter of emergency room fireworks injuries.
  3. If you set off fireworks, keep a bucket of water handy in case of malfunction or fire.
  4. If fireworks malfunction, don’t relight them! Douse and soak them with water then throw them away.
  5. Never ignite fireworks in a container, especially one that is glass or metal.
  6. Use your grill well away from your home and deck railings, and out from under branches or overhangs.
  7. Open your gas grill before lighting.
  8. Periodically remove grease or fat buildup in trays below your gas or propane grill so it cannot be ignited.
  9. Declare a three-foot "kid and pet-free zone" around the grill to keep them safe.
  10. Avoid loose clothing that can catch fire when cooking on the grill.

You can find more information and tips on being fire safe this Fourth of July, by visiting www.usfa.fema.gov and be sure to download the FEMA app, available for Apple, Android and Blackberry mobile devices. The app includes home fire safety tips and reminders users can set to test smoke alarms (monthly), change smoke alarm batteries (yearly), and practice fire escape plans (every six months).

FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first-responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.