WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- This Memorial Day, many people will be traveling, firing up the backyard grill or enjoying fireworks, and the American Red Cross, Westchester County chapter, offers steps everyone can follow to safely enjoy the holiday weekend.
1. Buckle seat belts and observe speed limits.
2. Do not drink and drive.
3. Pay full attention to the road – don’t use a cellphone to call or text.
4. Use caution in work zones.
5. Clean the vehicle’s lights and windows to help visibility, especially at night. Turn on headlights on as dusk approaches or during inclement weather.
The best way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public fireworks show put on by professionals. Here are five safety steps for people setting off fireworks at home:
1. Never give fireworks to small children and always follow instructions
2. Keep a supply of water close by as a precaution.
3. Make sure the person lighting fireworks always wears eye protection.
4. Light only one firework at a time and never attempt to relight "a dud."
5. Never throw or point a firework toward people, animals, vehicles, structures or flammable materials.
Every year people are injured while using charcoal or gas grills. Here are several steps to safely cook up treats for the backyard barbecue:
1. Always supervise a barbecue grill when in use.
2. Never grill indoors – not in the house, camper, tent or any enclosed area.
3. Make sure everyone, including the pets, stays away from the grill.
4. Keep the grill out in the open, away from the house, the deck, tree branches or anything that could catch fire.
5. Use the long-handled tools specially made for cooking on the grill to keep the chef safe.
SWIMMING AND POOL SAFETY
Constantly supervise children when they are near water. Never leave a young child unattended near water and do not trust a child’s life to another child.
1. Teach children to always ask permission to go near water.
2. Avoid distractions when supervising children around water. If a child is missing, check the water first. Seconds count in preventing death or disability.
3. Swim in designated areas supervised by lifeguards.
4. Always swim with a buddy; do not allow anyone to swim alone.
5. Have young children or inexperienced swimmers wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets around water, but do not rely on life jackets alone.
6. Have appropriate equipment, such as reaching or throwing equipment, a cellphone, life jackets and a first aid kit.
7. Know how and when to call 911 or the local emergency number.
DOWNLOAD FIRST AID APP: The Red Cross has a free first aid app to put expert advice for everyday emergencies at your fingertips. The app is available for smartphones and tablets and can be downloaded at redcross.org/apps .
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