Memorial Day Weekend Safety Tips

28 May 2012


With many people traveling over the holiday weekend, it’s more important than ever to drive safely. People should be well rested and alert, use their seat belts, observe speed limits and follo...w the rules of the road. If anyone plans on drinking alcohol, they should designate a driver who won’t be drinking.
Other tips for a safe trip include:
• Drivers should give full attention to the road. Avoid distractions such as cell phones.
• Leave ample room when behind other vehicles.
• Use caution in work zones.
• Make frequent stops when traveling long distances.
• Clean the vehicle’s lights and windows, especially at night.
• Turn the vehicle’s headlights on as dusk approaches, or during inclement weather.
• Use high beams on rural roads unless approaching or following a vehicle.

The onset of grilling season often results in injuries and fires due to careless cooking practices. The Red Cross offers steps people can follow to help stay safe while enjoying those tasty cookout treats:
• Never grill indoors.
• Always supervise a grill when in use, and make sure everyone, including pets, stays away from the grill.
• Keep the grill out in the open, away from the house, the deck, tree branches, or anything that could catch fire.
• Use the long-handled tools especially made for cooking on the grill.
• Never add charcoal starter fluid when coals have already been ignited.
• Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using grills.
• 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.

Learning to swim is one of the best steps someone can take to be comfortable and safe around water. People can contact their local aquatic facilities to get information about Red Cross swimming classes. Home Pool Essentials ( is an online safety course for pool and hot tub owners.
Other safety tips include:
• Swim only in designated areas supervised by lifeguards. Always swim with a buddy; do not allow anyone to swim alone.
• Prevent unsupervised access to the water. Install and use barriers around your home pool or hot tub.
• Maintain constant supervision. Always stay within arm’s reach of young children even when lifeguards are present.
• Know what to do in an emergency. If a child is missing, check the water first.
• Know how and when to call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number.
• Have appropriate rescue equipment, a phone, life jackets and a first aid kit near the pool.

1. Memorial Day Pet Safety: Don't Share Food
While it is tempting to share holiday fare with our pets, please refrain from sharing picnic goodies. Feed them their regular diet to prevent upset tummies and other digestive upsets. Since alcohol is potentially poisonous to pets, keep all alcoholic beverages out of their reach.
2. Memorial Day Pet Safety: Keep Insect Repellent Away
Never use insect repellent that is made for humans on pets. It can cause vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst and drooling. Make sure that any product used is pet-specific.
3. Memorial Day Pet Safety: Hide the Lighter Fluid
Keep lighter fluid, matches and citronella candles safely stored and out of pets reach. These items if accidently ingested can irritate the stomach and central nervous system.
4. Memorial Day Pet Safety: Provide Fresh Water
No matter where you are celebrating, make sure that your pet always has plenty of fresh, clean water available.
5. Memorial Day Pet Safety: Do Not Leave Your Pet in the Car
Most importantly, never leave a pet in a hot car if traveling. Pets are just as susceptible to heat stroke as humans, and cars can become hot as Hades in just a few minutes. Leaving a car parked in the shade with a cracked window is no guarantee that pets will be safe. Even if the car is left under a tree with an outside temperature of 78 degrees, the inside of that car can exceed 90 degrees in no time, and if left in the sun, a grueling 160 degrees. Additionally, if traveling, always be certain your pet is wearing an ID tag with your contact information.