With the Fourth of July Holiday upon us and many families planning family get togethers, parties and fireworks displays safety should be first and foremost in our minds when decorating for the holiday or shooting fireworks.

There is roughly more than $35,000 per year in fire damages nationally.  These fires are due to fireworks and decorations that are accented with fireworks.  This ends up being expensive, not only for the government and insurance companies, but also families who lose everything due to a fire.

The worst part is that many children are the ones that are injured in these types of fires. This is because many are not prepared to use fireworks safely.  This is where you can do something about the fires fromm fireworks.  These tips also include safety measures you can take for your regular decorations.

- Have a fire extinguisher readily available.  This way if there was an accidental fire, the fire can be put out quickly.

- Have water buckets and a hose available.  This is also important in the case that a fire becomes larger than a small extinguisher can take care of.

Bird safety is also important when it comes to 4th of July decorations.  They end up eating the decorations, getting caught in them or getting hurt.  If you have a family bird, or even if you want to consider the safety of a wild bird, keep in mind that the bright colors of red, white and blue will attract a bird as a chew toy.

- Alcohol is a favorite of many for the holiday celebrations. However, it is important to keep alcohol away from children and animals.  There is a potential risk of alcohol poisoning if consumed by a child or animal.

- Some decorations have smaller parts, or dangerous chemicals. This is another area that can be dangerous to small children and animals. If there is going to be small children and animals around, it is important to make sure that the decorations are safe in the lower areas.

- When you are disposing of 4th of July deocations and fireworks, make sure that they are completely free of heat and fire.  This way there will not be a smoldering fire happening after the party is over.

- When you decorate the area that you will be setting off fireworks, it is important to make sure that the decorations are a safe distance from the actual fireworks. This should be a roped off area that is away from children.

- Make sure that the area you are lighting fireworks off is also free of bushes, dry grass, trees, streamers, balloons, flammable helium, and other fire hazardous materials.

- Safety includes removing small pieces of balloons, fireworks and other items that are able to choke small children.  The main thing aobut decorations that is dangerous to small children is either chocking, or being strangled by them.

- Stay away from illegal fireworks.  They are illegal due to the increased danger involved with certain types of fireworks.