Creating and enforcing rules goes a long way toward protecting residents and property in the communities you manage.
- The 4th of July holiday is a celebratory time in HOA communities
- Numerous official and unofficial events may take place
- Creating a safe environment is an essential part of these events
- Implementing rules and regulations is the best way to ensure safety
The 4th of July is a time of celebration and gathering throughout the United States. Your residents might organize BBQs and pool parties, and your community’s board of directors could even schedule a fireworks display to close out the evening in style. No matter how your community decides to celebrate, it’s important to remember that, as a community manager, safety is your number one priority.
While you certainly don’t want to spoil the fun, it’s important to enforce some basic safety rules – because the last thing you want is a significant incident that causes injury or property damage. Here’s a look at seven tips for promoting a safe 4th of July in your HOA communities.
1) Follow local laws
Before all else, you’ll want to ensure that your local laws permit fireworks displays. There could be noise ordinances or fireworks bans in dry areas that prohibit your residents from setting off fireworks at all.
These laws go beyond your HOA regulations, so you’ll want to make sure that residents are aware and follow them first and foremost to avoid fines from local authorities.
2) Use legal fireworks safely
If some types of fireworks are legal in your area, you must further ensure that any fireworks your residents plan to set off aren’t prohibited. Many localities, for instance, permit sparklers but not bottle rockets.
You should also let residents know the importance of using fireworks in their intended manner and following the directions on the packaging. Fireworks were responsible for 11,500 emergency room visits and nine deaths in 2021 alone, and 74% of fireworks-related injuries occurred in the weeks surrounding the 4th of July holiday. Keeping everyone aware of the dangers of fireworks is the best way to prevent your community from becoming part of these statistics.
3) Keep children clear of fireworks
It should go without saying that keeping children away from fireworks is crucial to their safety. Even sparklers, which kids are commonly given to play with, burn at nearly 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit and are incredibly dangerous.
Putting up posters that remind residents about the hazards of fireworks – and even providing some examples of what can happen when fireworks celebrations go wrong – can go a long way toward protecting children in your community on the holiday weekend.
4) Have water nearby
Keeping water near the areas where residents will be lighting fireworks is an excellent precautionary measure community managers can take to keep their celebrations safe. Keeping hoses or buckets of water in strategic spots ensures there’s water available if a fire starts.
Residents can also use these water sources to provide immediate treatment for burns, potentially minimizing the damage caused by a minor fireworks incident.
5) Enforce pool rules
Of course, fireworks aren’t the only holiday danger, so your safety measures should extend to other areas, as well.
First, if your community has a common pool area, it’s essential that you enforce the rules all the time, and especially during holiday celebrations when the pool is apt to be more crowded. Keeping capacity at reasonable levels is a good first step. You’ll also want to ensure that visitors aren’t consuming alcohol by the pool and that kids aren’t running or being disruptive.
Of course, enforcing these pool rules could be a full-time job on the long weekend, so hiring a lifeguard or security team might be necessary in some situations.
6) Emphasize grill safety
It wouldn’t be the 4th without grilling, so you can expect residents to be firing up the BBQ throughout your communities. It’s important, then, to focus on providing grill safety information to residents, as leaving the BBQ lit or cooking too much greasy food at once could be a fire hazard.
You never want to leave a grill unattended, and residents should keep a fire extinguisher handy just in case the flame gets out of control. Residents should also avoid decorating near the grill, especially with flammable bunting, and place the grill at least ten feet from their home.
7) Give pet precaution reminders
Finally, it’s a good idea to issue remainders to pet owners in your communities regarding their safety. Pets tend to get scared during a fireworks display, which can cause them to flee. Encourage residents to keep their pets inside during the festivities so they aren’t tempted to run away or enter a neighboring property.
Residents should also be reminded to provide their pets with plenty of shade and water if they are outside for lengthy periods. It’s easy to get carried away and forget about your furry friends when entertaining guests or participating in a community event.
Keep your communities safe this summer
Ensuring that your residents have a safe 4th of July celebration is no small task. Some of these jobs may well be impossible for you and your staff to handle alone, particularly if you manage multiple communities. And that’s where outsourcing comes in.
VendorSmart is a vendor management platform that connects community managers with the best service providers in their local areas. And it even offers real-time oversight and project bidding to make the vendor management process as painless as possible. Contact VendorSmart today to learn more about how this platform can help you keep the communities you manage safe during the 4th of July and all year round.