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Labor Day Safety Tips from 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.

 

Barbecue and Picnic Safety

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. When serving food from a buffet table, make sure to put cold food back in the refrigerator immediately after the first wave of guests have grabbed their portions. Cook meat as you need it and do not leave a stack of cooked hot dogs or hamburgers out on the table for hours. Keep a close eye on the grill to ensure children do not put their hands on the hot grates.

Beach Safety

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.

Road Travel

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 arrive safely. Millions of drivers hit the road. 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.

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.

 

Sam DiGiovanna, of Aliso Viejo, is the training chief of Glendale’s Verdugo Fire Academy. He previously worked in Monrovia.

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