Celebrate Memorial Day Safely
Memorial Day is a day for remembering the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. While we honor their sacrifice and celebrate over the long weekend, make sure safety comes first. Here are some helpful safety tips for those of you who plan to enjoy the water, grill, or take a road trip:
The American Red Cross offers these tips regarding water safety:
- Swim in designated areas supervised by lifeguards.
- Always swim with a buddy; do not allow anyone to swim alone.
- Have young children or inexperienced swimmers wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets around water, but do not rely on life jackets alone.
- Have appropriate equipment, such as reaching or throwing equipment, a cell phone, life jackets and a first aid kit.
- Know how and when to call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number.
Another thing people can do is download the free Red Cross first aid app which puts expert advice for everyday emergency at someone’s fingertips. The free app is available for direct download from the Apple or Google Play for Android app stores.
With more people on the roads, it’s important to drive safely. Be well rested and alert, use seat belts, observe speed limits and follow the rules of the road. If plans include drinking alcohol, designate a driver who won’t drink. Other tips for a safe trip include:
- Give your full attention to the road. Avoid distractions such as cell phones.
- Don’t follow another vehicle too closely.
- Use caution in work zones.
- Make frequent stops.
- Clean the vehicle’s lights and windows to help the driver see, especially at night.
- Turn the headlights on as dusk approaches, or during inclement weather. Don’t overdrive the headlights.
The American Red Cross offers these tips to stay safe while cooking those tasty cookout treats:
- Never grill indoors – not in the house, camper, tent, or any enclosed area.
- Always supervise a barbecue grill when in use, and make sure everyone, including the pets, stays away from the grill.
- Keep the grill out in the open, away from the house, deck, tree branches or anything that could catch fire.
- Keep the chef safe by using the long-handled tools especially made for cooking on the grill.
- Never add charcoal starter fluid when coals have already been ignited.
- Be ready to close the lid and turn off the grill to cut off the fuel if necessary.
- Keep a fireproof pan under the grill to catch any falling ash or grease.
- Trim excess fat from meat to avoid flare-ups.
- Wash your hands in hot soapy water before preparing food, after touching raw meat and after any interruptions such as using the bathroom, handling pets, stopping to do something with children.
I wish you a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend!