By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna
On the first Monday of September, many workers take the day off and enjoy time relaxing with friends and family for Labor Day. Many Americans will turn the time off into an extended weekend by hosting barbecues, going on a mini vacation or spending time outdoors, reminds Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna.
First and foremost, it will be warm and dry. Do not use your barbecue near vegetation or combustible material. Cooking outdoors can trigger a number of physical and health safety concerns. Make sure to thaw meat out completely by placing it in the refrigerator, which will reduce the chances of bacteria growing. Keep cold foods in an insulated cooler when transporting to someone’s house or to the park. Keep a close eye on the grill to ensure children do not put their hands on the hot grates.
Last year Labor Day weekend was the deadliest for drownings since 2010.When at the beach, remember to protect skin and eyes from the rays of the sun by wearing cover-ups, sun screen, sunglasses and hats. Take a dip in the water periodically throughout the day to cool off your skin and body. Keep kids within sight and arms reach when in the water and never swim alone.
An estimated 2.5 million Southern Californians are expected to travel this Labor Day weekend. The National Safety Council estimates 398 people may die on U.S. roads this Labor Day holiday period. Whether driving to the beach or going away for Labor Day weekend, you will want to take your time to ensure you and your family arrives safely. When driving through parking lots and neighborhood streets, keep an eye out for kids who may be out and about playing. Always look twice when turning and crossing streets, especially for motorcycles and bicycles which are smaller and not as visible as cars. Remember to not drink and drive. Always wear your seat belt. Did I kindly mention PUT AWAY THAT CELL PHONE!
Boating/Kayak/Paddle Board Safety
Put your watercraft in the water for one last time this summer and relax. Before leaving make sure you are equipped with all necessary safety equipment, including enough gas, life vests and a first-aid kit (for a boat). Leave your float plan with a trusted friend or family member and when you are expected to return. This way, authorities have an idea where to search if you do not make it back home.
Stay hydrated, use common sense, be patient on the road and give yourself plenty of time!