The unofficial start to Summer is almost here with the arrival of Memorial Day weekend. While plans for the extended weekend can vary, Suffolk Police and Suffolk Fire & Rescue would like to ensure that everyone has a safe and enjoyable time regardless of how you celebrate. Here are a variety of safety tips to remember:
Suffolk Police will increase patrols this Memorial Day weekend to help protect those that travel and to keep Suffolk’s roads safe from impaired drivers.
People should be well-rested and alert, use their seat belts, observe speed limits and follow 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.
• Allow extra travel time. It is more important to arrive at your destination safely, than to arrive at your desired time. Don’t push traffic lights and speed to make it to your destination early. Expect increased traffic and understand it may take longer to reach your destination on the holiday
• Understand the times of highest risk. The greatest risk is on Friday afternoon, as people are getting off work and are ready to enjoy the weekend. During these times, be prepared as the sun will be setting and travelers will be tired from the day’s labor.
The onset of grilling season often results in injuries and fires due to careless cooking practices. The Fire Marshal’s Office offers these steps people can follow to help stay safe while enjoying those tasty cookout treats:
• Before you break out the grill, make sure it has been thoroughly cleaned. Dirty grills cause many injuries, particularly propane grills. Keep items that you don’t want grilled away from the flame, and don’t wear loose clothing while you grill.
• After your barbecue is over, make sure coals are completely out, and the propane is turned off.
• 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.
• Have a fire extinguisher available when grilling.
Learning to swim is one of the best steps someone can take to be comfortable and safe around water.
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.