Safety tips for the holiday weekend

Portland, Ore. – The American Red Cross wants you to be safe this holiday weekend, so they’re sharing a list of safety and fire prevention advice.

Many will be gathering outside with cook-outs and fireworks celebrations.

The Red Cross said these types of activities don’t come without risks, so they issued the following tips:

FIREWORKS SAFETY: 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 fireworks off at home:

1. Never give fireworks to small children, and always follow the instructions on the packaging.
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.

GRILLING SAFETY: Every year people are injured while using charcoal or gas grills. Here are several steps to safely cook for a 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 long-handled tools especially made for cooking on the grill.

HIKING SAFETY If your holiday plans include exploring the great outdoors, make sure to look over these tips to hike safely:

1. First, ensure that you and your family are weather aware. Read, watch or listen to the local news for an up-to-date forecast.

  • Know local weather patterns and pack appropriate clothing for the conditions.
  • Plan for your turnaround times–the amount of time you need to get back before darkness.
  • Share your destination point with a family member or friend.

2. Make a family plan.

  • Discuss with family members the precautions they should take to stay safe along the trails
  • Plan how to adjust your activities to avoid strenuous exercise during the warmest part of the day.
  • Drink water ahead of time and during your activities to avoid dehydration.
  • If you hike with your pets, ensure that your animals’ needs for water and shade are met.

3. Safety is always a concern while outdoors; bring a first aid kit and an emergency supplies kit that includes the following items:

  • Bandages
  • Alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Tissues
  • Ibuprofen
  • Tissues
  • Water or sports drinks with electrolytes

4. Make sure you have the skills you need for your camping or hiking adventure. You may need to know how to read a compass, make a temporary shelter or deliver first aid.

5. It’s safest to hike or camp with at least one companion. If you’ll be entering a remote area, your group should have a minimum of four people.

6. Some areas require you to have reservations or certain permits. If an area is closed, there’s a reason, so don’t go there. Find out in advance about any regulations — there may be specific guidelines about wildlife.

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