Independence Day is a time for family, cookouts, laughter and fireworks. Quite simply, it’s a day dedicated to celebrating the joy of summer. As you break out the sparklers and hotdogs, keep these tips in mind to keep your family and friends safe this July 4.

Obey the law
Rules and regulations vary by county, so check with your local police or fire department to find out more information about the local laws for fireworks in your area.

Know your fireworks
Read the cautionary labels on your fireworks. Be sure to follow directions to avoid mishaps. Never carry fireworks in your pocket or bag, and stay away from any flames.

Only use fireworks in a safe environment
Only use fireworks outdoors in a clear area; away from buildings and vehicles. Keep a bucket of water and a hose nearby in case of accidents. Always have an adult supervisor around children, and never let children user fireworks alone.

Protect your eyes
Wear eye protection, like safety goggles or glasses, and move away from the fireworks as soon as they are lit. Never shoot them into metal or glass containers.

Be responsible
Remember that fireworks are dangerous when used improperly. Alcohol and fireworks do not mix, so, if drinking, save for after the show.

Pet safety
Don’t bring your pets to a fireworks display, even a small one. If fireworks are being used near your home, put your pet in a safe, interior room to avoid exposure to sound.

July 4 is best celebrated around a pool or in a backyard—not in a hospital emergency room! So remember to enjoy the fireworks, savor the watermelon and put safety first this holiday!