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Celebrating Safely this Labor Day

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Labor Day activities that celebrate the end of summer make Labor Day weekend one of the deadliest times of the year with drunk-driving fatalities, drownings, and fires.

Staying Safe This Labor Day Weekend

Labor Day signals the end of summer and the last three-day weekend to enjoy road trips and outdoor activities before fall weather arrives. Each year, millions of Americans head to nearby beaches and lakes for swimming, surfing, boating, fishing, and hiking in the summer sun, while others head to local parks and back yards for cookouts and backyard grilling with family and friends.

Although Labor Day weekend is one of the most popular times for road trips and outdoor celebrations, it is also one of the deadliest times due to drunk driving, accidental drownings, and grilling fires. Each year, thousands of people end up in hospital emergency rooms with serious injuries that require immediate medical treatment. According to the National Safety Council, more people are killed in car crashes over Labor Day weekend than any other holiday, except Thanksgiving.

Whether heading out on a road trip or staying closer to home, people are urged to follow important Labor Day safety guidelines to prevent injuries.

Planning a Road Trip

If planning a road trip, drivers impaired by alcohol and/or drugs must not drive. It’s important to plan in advance, get enough sleep, and stay alert behind the wheel. While traveling drivers should:

  • Make sure the vehicle has adequate fuel for the trip
  • Obey posted speed limits and traffic signals
  • Keep seat belts buckled while traveling
  • Turn headlights on at dusk
  • Pay attention to weather forecasts
  • Inform someone of the intended destination and arrival time

Swimming and Boating

Whether heading to the lake or swimming in the backyard pool, water safety must be observed at all times to prevent drowning deaths. One in five drowning deaths are children under the age of 14. For every child who drowns, another five children are treated for nonfatal submersion injuries.

Outdoor Grilling

In the last five years, the National Fire Service has responded to more than 8,000 calls related to outdoor cooking and grilling fires over the Labor Day Weekend. Homeowners are urged to supervise backyard cooking and never leave grills unattended. Portable grills should be placed at least 3 feet away from flammable materials. Children and pets should be kept at least 3 feet away from hot grills.

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