After a long, cold winter, we cannot wait for Memorial Day to come next week! It’s the official kickoff weekend for the summer and I’m sure you are as excited as we are. If you are planning to head to the lakes, grill-out or spend the weekend in town with your family, here are some simple safety tips that will help keep you safe this Memorial Day, brought to you by the American Safety Council.
Grilling & Fire Safety
Grills and smokers, while creating delicious cookout fare, have a great potential for danger. It is very important that a lit or hot grill is never left unattended; a responsible adult should stand guard as “grillmaster” to control flames and keep children and animals away from hot surfaces. Before your first grill of the year and often during grilling season, make sure your grill ready for the job. Keep it clean of grease, inspect propane fuel lines, and position your grill away from structures, trees and high-traffic walkways. You should also take any precautions in case a flare-up or fire were to occur; keep an extinguisher nearby and make sure to know how to cut off fuel lines if you are using propane.
Picnic Food Safety
Proper food safety during barbecues can help to avoid tummy troubles later. Make sure to take safe food preparation precautions and avoid cross-contamination with plenty of hand washing. Take steps to keep foods at safe temperatures; cold foods should be kept on ice or refrigerated and left out no longer than an hour, and warm foods should be kept heated to at least 140°F until served. Keep all outdoor buffet dishes covered and try to keep insects from depositing germs onto your delicious meal. If you do end up with any sort of digestion problems after a barbecue, stay hydrated and seek medical assistance if you experience serious symptoms.
Summer Sun Safety
If you spend time in the sun, be sun safe! Use sunscreen of an appropriate SPF and make sure to reapply as necessary, especially if you are swimming or sweating. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and to keep cool. And don’t forget your eyes – wear a hat and sunglasses!
Memorial Day Travel Safety
Tens of millions of Americans travel during Memorial Day Weekend, so it is especially important to include safety into your weekend travel plans. Prepare your car for road trips by making sure your car is in top working condition; check your tire pressure and fill your tank before heading out on your trip, and make sure you are equipped with emergency essentials. Plan your drive ahead of time to choose direct routes on safe roads and keep an eye on weather forecasts to avoid driving with dangerous conditions. Never drive after drinking, travel with anyone who has been drinking, or allow anyone who has been drinking to drive. And of course, when you are driving, always wear your safety belt!