Fort Knox official asks freedom-loving partygoers to play it safe this summer

By Eric PilgrimJune 30, 2023

Fort Knox official asks freedom-loving party goers to play it safe this July 4 and beyond
Waylon Fullmer, son of Chief Petty Officer Bruce Fullmer, a machinist's mate at Naval Nuclear Power Training Command, and Ryan Pefley, son of Chief Petty Officer David Pefley, a machinist's mate at the Naval Nuclear Power Training Command, hold their sparklers high June 28, 2013 during the Freedom Fest at Marrington Plantation at Joint Base Charleston - Weapons Station, South Carolina. (Photo Credit: Senior Airman George Goslin, U.S. Air Force) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT KNOX, Ky. — July is National Grilling Month; fitting considering schools are out for the summer and Independence Day is a featured holiday for the season.

Fireworks stands dot communities all around Fort Knox, even many stores are getting into the spirit of selling fireworks packages to let freedom ring. Amid all the exciting summer celebrations, Fort Knox Safety officer Brian Wood is reminding folks to keep safety at the top of their list.

“If somebody is going to grill, we always urge that they do it away from their home, and make sure they have water nearby,” said Wood. “Make sure you clean your racks before you start to cook. Flames can flare up and burn somebody.

“Also, make sure you wait a long time and dash your coals with water before emptying them into a trash bin.”

One of the biggest concerns during the Fourth of July weekend is the potential for harm from fireworks.

According to the National Safety Council, eight people died and over 12,000 were badly injured in 2017 due to misuse of fireworks. Of the injured, children and adults under 20 accounted for 50%.

While many might conclude that large fireworks were the cause, safety experts revealed that approximately 1,200 injuries were caused by small fireworks like firecrackers and sparklers. Fireworks cause an average of 18,500 fires every year.

Fort Knox official asks freedom-loving party goers to play it safe this July 4 and beyond
The public is invited to Fort Knox Freedom Fest ’23, a tribute and celebration of Independence Day July 4, 6-11 p.m. The event will include live music, food vendors, giant inflatables, a tribute to the nation and a culminating firework show. (Photo Credit: Photo illustration by Eric Pilgrim, Fort Knox News) VIEW ORIGINAL

Wood said drinking alcohol is an issue that can exacerbate the dangers of Fourth of July festivities.

“Anytime anyone plans to have a barbecue or Fourth of July event need to make sure they have a backup plan if they’re going to consume alcohol,” said Wood. “They should have a designated driver and a plan in place before they start drinking alcohol to get home safely.”

As the heat index rises during the month, heat-related issues can be another concern, especially for folks who plan to enjoy the outdoors.

“People should make sure they keep hydrated and have a first-aid kit handy in case of emergencies,” said Wood. “If they go somewhere, they need to tell people where they’re going and make sure they’re packed accordingly for the duration of the travel.”

For those who plan to stick around for the Fourth, Wood recommends attending Fort Knox’s Freedomfest ’23.

“No fireworks are allowed on the installation, so we have our independence celebration right here,” said Wood. “It’s a great opportunity to bring families out, and they can watch fireworks at a safe distance.”

For more information on Freedom Fest, visit