A weekly article that will offer information concerning the Kilgore Fire Department and provide safety tips for home and family.

Memorial Day weekend is a time of celebration and to honor our veterans.  It is also a time when many friends and family gather for cookouts, watch parades, go to the beach, visit amusement parks, and enjoy the much improved weather.  To ensure your celebrations go safely, here are some precautions to consider when planning for that weekend.

Plan with the Weather in Mind

If you are participating in outdoor activities, then you will want to keep an eye on the weather, especially if the forecast is for warmer temperatures and high humidity.  When this happens, it is important to pack plenty of bottled water.  Staying hydrated during these events can reduce your risk of incurring muscle cramps, dehydration or heat stroke.  Another aspect of the weather is protecting your skin from the sun.  When searching for sunscreens, the FDA recommends finding ones made of zinc oxide or titanium dioxide because they deflect UV rays away from the skin, making them the most effective in protection.  If the weather is bad prepare for an alternative solution for your gathering.

Cookout Safety Tips

Cookouts are one of America’s finest past times, but they also carry many risks associated with them.  When having a cookout always be safety conscious.  Here are some safety tips for your grill:

• Keep flammable materials away from the grill at all times.

• Make sure someone is manning the grill when in operation.

• Follow all directions to a T when starting your grill.

• Keep the grill’s hood closed when you are not tending to food.

• Turn off the gas when finished.

• After cooking, keep a watch on the grill as it cools.

Grilling is only one area where problems can originate.  When devising a safety plan, it is important to keep all members of your party in mind.  This can include preventing access to the garage where children could incur injury from playing with garden tools.  It can also include removing obstacles such as toys to prevent folks from tripping.  And if you have steeper steps that lead to your patio or backyard area, designate someone to stay by to help people navigate the area.  The more time that you spend on contingencies the fewer surprises will come your way.

Have a S.A.F.F.E. and enjoyable holiday.  A special thank you goes out to all of our veterans.

        Stay S.A.F.F.E.,

        Johnny Bellows

        Fire Chief

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