Memorial Day marks the unofficial start to summer. The school year is winding down and vacation plans are being made. Sunny days and warm weather allow us to spend quality time with family and friends. Here's a collection of safety tips that can help you, your family, pets, and others enjoy the summer season.
- Before lighting your grill for the first time, inspect the hoses for cracks, holes, and leaks using a soapy water solution.
- If there's a pop up thunderstorm or heavy downpour, DON'T move your grill indoors, including in your garage. Keep the grill at least ten feet from your home, cottage, or camper.
- Always transport your filled LP tank in a safe upright position. Rachet straps are a good way to keep it secure. Never leave the LP tank in your vehicle or trunk, especially if it’s sunny and hot.
- If you're visiting with family and friends and return to a grill with no flame, never try to re-ignite it right away. Turn off the gas, open your grill cover, and let it ventilate.
Teen Driving Safety – 100 Deadliest Days
Car accidents are the leading cause of death for teen drivers. Unfortunately, the 100 deadliest days for teen drivers fall between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
At this time of the year, more teens are on the road going to their summer jobs, visiting friends, and traveling to summer attractions. This means more cars are driven by inexperienced drivers.
If you have a new teen driver, you may want to send them to Road America’s Teen Driving School. Sponsored by West Bend, this hands-on class teaches driving techniques not taught in regular driver’s education. Participants will practice collision avoidance techniques that include:
- Emergency lane changes
- Skid control
- Other fundamental car control drills
To learn more, visit http://www.roadamerica.com/experiences/driving-school/teen-driving.html.
- Avoid sharing picnic food. Summer picnics are nice ways to enjoy time with family and friends. If you have pets, they can become professional beggars. To keep them healthy, don’t share food with them. Excessive fats can lead to GI upset or even life-threatening pancreatitis. Serious intestinal damage, obstruction, or perforation can result from eating corncobs or meat bones.
- Cuddle them during the storms. If your pets are scared during summer storms, take them to a place in your house with no doors or windows. Playing music, turning up the TV, or turning on a fan may drown out some of the noise. If these tips don’t work, talk to your local veterinarian about medication that can calm their nerves or check out ThunderShirt.
- Be on the lookout for hidden dangers in your yard. There are many dangers in your yard that can cause serious illness or death. These include insect bites or stings, plants from your garden, lawn chemicals, fertilizers, and mulch. If you let your pets roam, keep an eye on them.
Fire Pit Safety
- Check your local weather forecast. Before lighting your fire, check out your weather app for an hour-by-hour forecast for your area. If the wind picks up, your friendly fire can get out of control quickly, sending sparks everywhere. The last thing you want is for those sparks to start your home or a neighbor’s home on fire.
- Understand what type of wood to burn. Never burn wood that's stored in your garage from an old remodel project. Some of it may be treated with chemicals that shouldn’t be inhaled. Woods that are hard and dense create longer lasting fires and should be used. These include oak, hickory, and ash. Soft woods, like pine, can crackle and pop, throwing sparks outside the fire pit.
- Let it be. Portable fire pits are popular, partly because they can be moved and stored after each use. Hard wood produces hotter coals which means it will take longer for your fire pit to cool down. If the pit is moved near a house or garage too soon, the heat can cause the siding to melt or even start a fire. Leave the portable fire pit where it is and move it back to its storage space the following day.
Road Construction Safety
- Be informed. The site of orange construction barrels can be frustrating, especially if you're running behind for that 8:00am meeting. To stay safe on the road and to avoid this frustration, be aware of road construction projects in your area. Follow your state’s construction projects by visiting your Department of Transportation’s website.
- Respect construction workers. These men and women repair deficiencies in the road, lay new smooth surfaces, and help make travel better for us. Like us, these hard-working people also want to go home to their families each night. Be considerate and pay attention to traffic pattern changes and speed limits.
Do you have any tips or information you’d like to share? I’d love to hear them; please share them in the box below.