(MIAMI, May 23, 2013) – Miami-Dade Fire Rescue (MDFR) would like all residents to have a fun and safe Memorial Day weekend. This holiday has traditionally marked the beginning of summer with tourists and locals flocking to nearby pools and beaches. MDFR encourages all residents to consider the following safety tips:
- Always wear your seatbelt and make sure that all passengers do so as well. All infants and small children should be restrained in approved child safety seats.
- Try to do most driving during daylight hours; motorists driving under the influence are usually on the road after 9:00 p.m.
- If your vehicle stalls on the freeway, do your best to pull over onto the shoulder, well out of traffic lanes. Call for help and do not attempt to repair it yourself on the freeway.
- Always designate a safe driver that will not be drinking alcohol.
- Never leave children unattended. Drowning incidents in residential swimming pools are significantly higher involving children between the ages of one and four.
- Swim in areas supervised by a lifeguard.
- Read and obey all rules and posted signs.
- Use the grill at least 10 feet away from the house or any other structures.
- Keep children away from the grill and never leave the grill unattended.
- Never use gasoline or kerosene to light a charcoal fire.
- Do not pour lighter fluid on hot charcoal. This is the leading cause of grill-related burns.
- Never light a grill on the balcony of an apartment; it is illegal and extremely dangerous for all building occupants.
- The best thing anyone can do to stay safe in and around the water is to learn to swim, especially anyone participating in boating activities.
- Alcohol and boating don't mix. Alcohol impairs judgment, balance, and coordination, all of which are necessary for safe boating, especially for the vessel operator.
- Before leaving shore, ensure that the vessel is in good working condition and all safety equipment is on board and operational, including at least one Coast Guard-approved life jacket for every passenger on the boat.
- Prior to any boat excursion, give a responsible person details about where you will be and how long you will be gone. In the event of an emergency, this information could be the key to finding you and bringing help to your location.
- Drink plenty of cool fluids throughout the day, but avoid those that contain caffeine, alcohol or a high sugar content since they actually contribute to dehydration and make heat-related illness worse.
- Stay indoors in an air-conditioned place and limit your outdoor activities to the early morning or evening hours, avoiding the mid-day sun.
- Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
- Check frequently on the elderly, young children and others at higher risk for heat-related illnesses.
- And don’t forget your animals. Keep them in an air-conditioned area if possible, and provide plenty of fresh water.
Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Department
9300 NW 41st Street, Miami, FL 33178