For most people, fireworks are an integral part of 4th of July celebrations, but if you plan on setting off those fireworks at home, you could be setting yourself up some serious problems if those fireworks wind up damaging your home or someone else’s property. Every year, the news is full of reports of injuries occurring following inappropriate use of fireworks and firecrackers. But what’s often overlooked is the property damage that can – and often does – occur even when safety rules are followed to the letter.
If you’re planning on using fireworks during your own 4th of July celebration, the best way to be sure you, your guests and your neighbors are protected is to review your insurance policy. This step will help determine if your policy covers damages from fireworks, and if you have enough coverage to provide protection from big financial losses.
The good news is, most basic homeowners policies do provide some coverage for property losses that occur on your own property, including losses that occur as a result of fireworks use. But there are some caveats: First, you need to be sure you’re using the fireworks according to their directions and according to any local codes and regulations. Failure to do so can be declared negligent, and that means your insurance probably won’t provide any protection.
Second, you need to make sure your policy has enough coverage for damage on your own property, and you should also inquire about coverage for neighboring property that could be caused by a spark or firework gone astray. Damage that occurs to another home is usually covered by that homeowners policy, but that doesn’t mean you’re off the hook – depending on their level of coverage, you could still be responsible for at least part of the losses.
The best way to avoid all these issues is to enjoy your fireworks at a public display. But if you’ve already decided to have fireworks at your own event, here are a few important steps you need to take to decrease your risk of property damage, or worse – serious injuries:
- Make sure you know – and follow – local regulations regarding fireworks use.
- Never use fireworks near trees, wooden structures or dry brush.
- Follow the instructions carefully and completely while using fireworks.
- Keep kids safely away from the area and keep pets indoors.
- Have a hose on hand in case of fly-away sparks.
Finally, call Basi Insurance Services to make sure you have ample liability and property damage coverage. Adding additional coverage can be surprisingly inexpensive, and it’s a great way to make sure your 4th of July celebration is both fun and safe.