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Published on May 24, 2013 by Edgar Snyder

Safety Reminders for Memorial Day Weekend

people eating at a cookout

For many people, Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start of summer. It's a time to enjoy cookouts and outdoor recreation. It's a chance to spend time with friends and family. It's NOT a time you want to end up in the ER or suffer a tragedy that could have been prevented.

That's why every year, our law firm reminds everyone to follow these tips:

Swimming Pool and Water Safety

Thousands of people open their pools or head out on a boat as part of their Memorial Day weekend celebrations. It's easy to forget common safety procedures, but it only takes one mistake to change lives forever.

First, do a safety check of your pool and the surrounding area.

  • Make sure there are no boards sticking up on the deck and that the stairs leading into the pool are intact and sturdy.
  • You should have a pole, rope, and flotation devices around the pool ready to use in case of emergency.
  • Post CPR instructions, and if you can, take a class to earn your certification. Have a phone available at all times as well.
  • You should have a self-locking, self-closing fence with vertical bars surrounding the pool.
  • Remove the pool cover completely before using the pool. Put it back on and secure it when you're done using it.

Second, share your pool rules with everyone before they swim.

  • Never leave children unsupervised around water, even if they know how to swim.
  • Designate a ‘water watcher' – a person whose job is to watch the swimmers at all times.
  • Avoid horseplay and running near the pool.
  • Never dive into the swimming pool, unless the deep end is 6+ feet deep. You should have signs posted where diving is and isn't permitted.
  • Don't swim during a thunderstorm. Wait at least 30 minutes from the last time you hear thunder or see lightening before allowing swimmers back in the pool.
  • Read these additional swimming pool safety tips, and check out our swimming pool safety infographic.

Food Safety

Cookouts and picnics are a breeding ground for bacteria and foodborne illnesses. However, you can help prevent food poisoning by being prepared and following our food safety guidelines.

  • Cook beef, veal, lamb steaks, roasts, and chops to 145°F. Keep the meat covered as it sits, and refrigerate it soon after guests are finished eating. Never serve meat with the same utensils you used to cook it.
  • Keep salads and other perishable products, such as mayonnaise, cheese, and milk, in coolers filled with ice as people eat. Afterward, refrigerate them to ensure that they are stored properly.
  • If you are serving food at a buffet, keep food hot with chafing dishes, slow cookers, and warming trays. Additionally, have individual utensils for each additional food.

Drive Safe & Sober

If you plan to include alcohol as part of your festivities, be safe. Statistics show that alcohol-related crashes increase on holidays like Memorial Day. Don't make alcohol available to anyone under the age of 21. Invite anyone who seems intoxicated to stay the night instead of driving. Sign our Safe & Sober pledge, and set a good example by promising to not drink and drive.

Outdoor Recreation

Other outdoor activities are common during cookouts and throughout the summer. We have pages devoted to injury prevention, so be sure to check them out:

On behalf of our law firm, we wish you and your family a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend.

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