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Tips for a safe and fun Memorial Day

May 21, 2015

Many families fire up their grills or take to the road on Memorial Day, as it's a time when we remember the brave veterans who lost their lives defending the freedoms of the country. There is no better way to honor these individuals than to celebrate with our family and friends.

Whatever your Memorial Day plans, put safety first.

But since most people have the day off of work or school and are in celebratory moods, there are increased risks as well. Whether you and your family are having friends over for an afternoon cookout or going to a place where you can put your feet up and relax, there are dangers affiliated with each.

However, safety is not difficult to achieve if you take precautions and be alert. While home insurance and auto insurance are wise if you are driving or entertaining over the holiday weekend, as accidents do happen, plain old safety precautions are certainly necessary. Don't fear driving on the busy roads, and don't be worried about the kids outside while the grill is hot, just put safety first and you and your family will be able to enjoy the free day.

"Don't worry about busy roads or a hot grill, just plan ahead and take safety precautions.”

If grilling in the backyard

When grilling for family and friends, you must make sure the grill is in working order. This means wiping down any dust or grime that is sitting on it, as it has probably been waiting in the garage all winter. This can not only be hazardous near a fire, but a filthy grill grate can also cook into your food. Make sure it is all clean before you light it up.

Additionally, if you are using a propane grill, make sure the gas is turned off when finished. Likewise, charcoal should be separated to cool down, as opposed to leaving it in a hot pile. It is also important to remember that someone should always be by the grill. This is not only so kids don't run up to, but to also make sure nothing catches fire. Having someone near the grill at all times is the only way to ensure the cooking goes smoothly.

Your cookout might also be located in a back yard with a swimming pool, or maybe the yard is surrounded with tiki torches. Whatever your surroundings, make sure you and your kids know the rules and where everything is located. It is easy to get carried away in conversation with friends, but when it comes to flames and pools, there always need to be watchful eyes.

Be safe around the grill this Memorial Day.Be safe around the grill this Memorial Day.

If going on a road trip

Since it is a three-day weekend, it is common for people to get away for a few days. If you are one of these people, then you should certainly enjoy the free time. However, remember that you are not going to be the only one on the road this weekend, and an increased amount of traffic means a higher risk of accidents.

Be alert when driving with your family or friends. Trying to hurry is not the way to make the trip easier. Instead, start early and be patient. Whether you are going to the nation's capital to look at the patriotic sights or doing something more scenic like camping, make sure you are aware of your surroundings, have enough gas so you don't get trapped and bring water and food in your car should delays be more than you assumed.

Sitting in traffic is never fun, but going into the trip prepared and having the necessary supplies will ensure you get there and back safely.

Enjoy the Memorial Day holiday. It is an important day to celebrate and be mindful of, but taking safety precautions is a must before any celebrating can be had.