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OTW Safety Blog

Enjoy Your Summer Holiday Responsibly

OTW Billboard Barricades used as block party barricades on a busy street

Tips to keep your outdoor play safe and fun during the summer break

Summer is here! With summer comes holiday fun, parades, block parties, and more. To enjoy these events and activities as safely as possible, it’s best to plan safety measures ahead of time. 

Planning to view fireworks, attend a parade, party with your neighbors at a block party, or relax by a bonfire on the beach? Whether the safety measures required are minor or major, and whether they need safety barricades or not, laying the groundwork for safety is your best bet for enjoying the summer holiday responsibly! Here are our top tips for navigating celebrations and fun of all types this summer season. 

Land of the Free, Home of the… Safe!

Fireworks, Bonfires, and Burgers

It’s that time of year once again: time for fun outdoors in the sunshine with loved ones, lots of good food, and, to top it all off, fireworks in the evening. Many Americans enjoy a long weekend celebrating our country’s independence in July, and viewing fireworks from afar or setting them off at home is a fun way to add to the experience. 

Whether the finale to a parade, viewed over a lake or with the mountains as a backdrop, or set off in your own driveway, a great fireworks show can be one of the most exciting parts of any Independence Day celebration. If done without safety precautions in place, however, serious injuries or a trip to the emergency room might be the finale of your night rather than a glorious explosion of fireworks.

While it is always best practice to let professionals do the dangerous work and enjoy a fireworks show hosted within your community, some people really enjoy setting off fireworks at home (in states where it is legal). If your state permits the use of fireworks (Utah allows July 2-3, 5 between the hours of 11 AM to 11 PM and 11 AM to midnight on the 4th), be sure to follow proper safety guidelines when lighting them yourself. While fireworks are legal, they are not actually a safe endeavor; however, with precautions they can be enjoyed safely enough!

In the same vein as fireworks, we find bonfires (whether enjoyed on the beach, in your yard, or someplace else). Warm, enjoyable, and fun for all when paired with s’mores or grilling hot dogs, they can still be dangerous when basic safety isn’t practiced. Bonfires can easily get out of control and large ones can reach temperatures of up to 2000 degrees. You might even be pulling out the barbeque to grill up some burgers, which also can reach high temperatures very quickly.     

For these activities, we suggest a few key things to keep everyone safe: 

  • As a general rule, keep a safe distance.
  • Keep children contained and out of reach of any fireworks, hot surfaces, or open flames.
  • Keep water handy and nearby (in case of emergency and to put out the fire and/or fireworks at the end of the night.
  • Wear eye protection for those lighting fireworks and do not attempt to re-light duds.


The floats, the music, the candy, oh my! Parades can be a fun way to celebrate the holidays with your community, but, as always, safety should be the first priority when navigating them. In cities large or small, parades involve heavy moving vehicles, large crowds, and hot temps during the summertime. 

These quick tips will help you maximize your safety while enjoying the spectacle.

  • Stay behind the barricades: Whether metal bike rack barricades, the trusty Billboard Barricade, or something thrown together quickly like caution tape and cones, pedestrian barricades are meant to keep guests safe and off the streets at parades. 

Best case scenario will find our own OTW crowd control barricades lining your streets to separate spectators from the floats, as they are perfect for any crowd control situation. Each UV-resistant HDPE barricade is durable, kid-friendly, and sturdy enough to withstand the press of crowds. Our best advice here? Enjoy the parade from the sidelines!   

  • Stay together: It’s easy to get lost in big crowds, so it’s especially important to make an effort to stay together if walking any distance to reach your parade viewing spot. Holding children’s hands and remaining aware of your surroundings will help keep all parties safe on the trek over, and remaining together during the parade will ensure that nobody gets lost during or afterward! 

This is also where following directional signage is going to be especially helpful. Not only does signage increase the accessibility of events, but it can also help guide guests to and from a venue or through a parking lot. In the case that someone does get lost, signs can be used as reference points for navigation or for having someone stay put until help can arrive. 

  • Dress accordingly: It can get toasty on a summer day, so it’s important to dress according to the weather. Rain or shine, a small umbrella might be a good pick for shading your face (or keeping you dry), and dressing in light clothing with good airflow can help keep you cool. Hats, fans, and any other accessories you use to protect yourself from the sun are important additions as well. 
  • Listen to public safety officials: Safety officials staff parades to help keep you safe, so it’s in your best interest to listen to their direction! Whether they are directing traffic (both pedestrian and motor vehicle), overseeing the parade, or something else, their job is to keep you safe. 

Purple, orange and green OTW block party barricades on a grassy lawn

Block Parties

A block party can be a great way to bring the neighborhood together for camaraderie and community building – but where to start? We suggest picking a theme, collaborating with your city for proper permits, solidifying pertinent details early, and finding partners to help you put on a great event! For a more comprehensive how-to, check out our full blog on all things block parties. 

In the meantime, if you’re planning a local block party, consider our Wedge Barricades (affectionately known as Block Party Barricades around here), as they are perfect for closing off small streets from unwanted traffic. These small but sturdy road barriers will keep guests safe so that they can focus on the fun!    

Safe Play Areas

When families with children are out and about during the summer holiday, it’s especially nice to find a safe place for those kiddos to play. This might be at a park, community events, or even the local community center or pool.  

Young children, in particular, can be hard to corral when you’re on the go, so a safely barricaded area can grant great peace of mind to likely harried parents. If you’re a parent, keep an eye out for those areas! While they might be difficult to find in some cases, you’ll have struck gold when you do find those little gems of safety. 

If you’re in charge of an event or a community space, consider creating a safe play space for the families who visit. Fully fenced or barricaded areas are especially helpful at the local pool (where water safety is a concern) and at playgrounds for families with multiple children. While many of our plastic barricades would work for such an application, our classic crowd safety barricade  (the Billboard Barricade) was created with versatility in mind. Sleek and slim, yet sturdy, they connect together easily to create a fully enclosed space if desired. This fence-like barrier provides safety but ensures ease of access as well.

Road closure

For any of the above events, you might consider barricading the road for safety. You can use wedge barricades or the 32” or 42” LCD barricades, available for rent in the state of Utah. Made to withstand weather, extreme temperatures, collisions, and more, our heavy-duty safety barricades won’t let you down when it comes to safety.

Utah Arts Festival uses a yellow OTW crowd control barricades as exit signage

Safe summer fun for the books

In everything we do and every situation we encounter, OTW strives to prioritize safety. From dazzling fireworks to a giant event to a regular, sunny day at the playground or pool, we’re here to support our community with the best plastic barricades on the market. 


Ready to make this summer your safest yet? Contact us today with your safety needs!