You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience.

Red Cross Offers Safety Tips for Labor Day

Labor Day is often viewed as the official end of the summer and many families see it as their last chance to travel and celebrate the end of the season. The American Red Cross offers travel, grilling, and water safety tips for the holiday weekend. 

“Everyone looks forward to having fun over the Labor Day weekend, and the Red Cross wants to make sure people know how to stay safe while enjoying the holiday,” said Martha Carlos, Chief Communications Officer, American Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois. 

Travel Safety Many will hit the road sometime over the three-day holiday weekend. The Red Cross offers these travel highway safety tips: 

• Find out what disasters may occur where traveling and how to get information in the event of a disaster (local radio systems, emergency alert systems). 

• Pay attention to the weather forecast for the destination. 

• Buckle up, slow down, and don’t drink and drive. Designate a driver who won’t drink. 

• Be well rested and alert; have the driver give their full attention to the road. 

• Use caution in work zones. 

• Observe speed limits. 

• Make frequent stops. 

• Be respectful of other motorists. 

• Clean the vehicle’s lights and windows to help see, especially at night. 

• Turn the headlights on as dusk approaches, or during inclement weather, and don’t overdrive them. 

• Carry a Disaster Supplies Kit in the trunk. 

• Don’t let the gas tank get too low. 

• If car trouble occurs, pull as far as possible off the highway. 

Grilling Safety 

Perhaps plans include an old-fashioned barbecue at home. Follow these safety steps if cooking up tasty treats on the grill: 

• Always supervise a barbecue grill when in use. 

• Never grill indoors – not in the house, camper, tent, or any enclosed area. 

• Make sure everyone, including the pets, stays away from the grill. 

• Keep the grill out in the open, away from the house, deck, tree branches or anything that could catch fire. 

• Use the long-handled tools especially made for cooking on the grill to keep the chef safe. 

• Never add charcoal starter fluid when coals have already been ignited. 

• Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using grills. 

Water Safety 

If Labor Day plans include a trip to the beach, rip currents could be a problem. Be aware of the danger of rip currents and remember the following: 

• If caught in a rip current, swim parallel to the shore until out of the current. Once free, turn and swim toward shore. If unable to do that, float or tread water until free of the rip current and then head toward shore. 

• Stay at least 100 feet away from piers and jetties. Permanent rip currents often exist near these structures. 

DOWNLOAD EMERGENCY APP People can download the free Red Cross Emergency App to receive severe weather watches and warnings in their local area, at travel destinations and where loved ones live. “Family Safe” is a unique feature that allows app users to notify family and friends who are in an area affected by an emergency or disaster. First Aid steps for situations such as heart attacks, heat-related emergencies and water safety information are also included. The content is available in English and Spanish. The app can be downloaded from app stores by searching for “American Red Cross” or by going to

About the American Red Cross: 

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.