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4th of July celebrations: Keeping your family and pets safe

Will Weimer, VP of Phantom Fireworks and Jennifer Walker of University Hospitals share tips for a safe and fun holiday weekend.

CLEVELAND — As people all across the nation get ready to celebrate this 4th of July weekend, there are some things you should keep in mind when it comes to safety and compliance.

Senate Bill 113 is still waiting on Governor's DeWine approval, which means this weekend it is still illegal to shoot fireworks in Ohio without a permit. 

RELATED: Ohio Senate passes bill that eases restrictions on fireworks

If you do have a permit, here are some things to remember.

First, maintain at least 35 feet between spectators and the shooting area to prevent any injuries. Also, shooting on top of grass, gravel, or uneven surfaces could cause unwanted accidents so make sure to use a hard, flat surface. 

Make sure to have a source of water nearby. A hose, or a bucket just in case something goes wrong. Also keep your neighbors informed, as some people in the area could be afraid from fireworks.

To ensure a fun and safe holiday weekend for everyone, Jennifer Walker from University Hospital's Injury Prevention Center suggests getting creative.

"We always encourage people to do something fun like glowsticks or something a little safer with kids," Walker tells 3News.

We cannot forget about our furry friends.

"Fireworks have a tendency from time to time to frighten some animals," Will Weimer, VP of Phantom Fireworks says.

More pets go missing between July 4th and 5th, than any other day. To prevent this from happening, keep your pets indoors with windows and doors closed. Also, turn on the TV, radio, and the air conditioner, as white noise could help animals feel more relaxed.

Most importantly, make sure your pets are wearing a collar with updated contact information, so it is easier to locate you in case they go missing.

Meanwhile, let's focus on when it's time to cook on the grill. When it comes to food, burning the burgers is not the only thing you should worry about.

Make sure you only grill outdoors and that your guests are at least 3 feet away from hot surfaces to prevent any injuries. Also, don't leave the grill or stove unattended.

Although we are at a better place compared to last year when it comes to COVID-19, 50% of Ohio's population is unvaccinated. Plus, with the Delta variant lurking around, you might want to stick to some backyard fun this year and avoid those large crowds.

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