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Holiday Weekend Safety Tips

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“We all know how quickly good times can become tragedies..." Terri Badour, CEO

ATLANTA- Wednesday, May 24, 2017 — This Memorial Day, many people will be traveling, firing up the backyard grill or enjoying the water, and the American Red Cross offers a series of steps everyone can follow to safely enjoy the holiday weekend.

“This holiday weekend marks the unofficial start of summer and the Red Cross urges families to make it both fun and safe,” says Terri Badour, CEO of Georgia’s Red Cross. “We all know how quickly good times can become tragedies, especially around water and outdoor cooking. By following a few basic safety tips, you and your loved ones can travel safely and enjoy your time together without regret.”


Millions of people will be on the highways over the Memorial Day weekend. The Red Cross offers these five things everyone should do to stay safe while traveling:

1. Buckle seat belts, observe speed limits.

2. Do not drink and drive.

3. Pay full attention to the road – don’t use a cell phone to call or text.

4. Use caution in work zones.

5. Clean the vehicle’s lights and windows to help the driver see, especially at night. Turn the headlights on as dusk approaches, or during inclement weather.


Every year people are injured while using charcoal or gas grills. Here are several steps to safely cook up treats for the 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 the long-handled tools especially made for cooking on the grill to keep the chef safe.


The following tips are layers of protection that will help people stay safe in, on and around the water:

1. Download the Red Cross Swim App which includes water safety steps for home pools, beaches, lakes and rivers.

2. Actively supervise children; stay within arm’s reach of young children and newer swimmers.

3. Wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket – always when on a boat and if in a situation beyond your skill level.

4. Everyone, including experienced swimmers, should swim with a buddy in areas protected by lifeguards.

5. Know what to do to help someone in trouble, know how and when to call 9-1-1; and know CPR.

RED CROSS APPS People can download the all-inclusive Red Cross Emergency app which combines more than 35 emergency alerts to help keep the user safe. And there is a special mobile app - Monster Guard - designed for kids, teaching them to prepare for emergencies at home by playing an engaging game. Users can find the apps in smartphone app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to

HOME POOL ESSENTIALS COURSE The Red Cross and National Swimming Pool Foundation® (NSPF) have developed an online safety course for pool and hot tub owners. Home Pool Essentials ( helps people understand the risks of pool ownership, how to maintain a safer and cleaner pool, what safety equipment is appropriate, how to prevent pool and hot tub entrapment hazards, and how to respond to an emergency.

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.