American Red Cross reminds people of summer safety tips ahead of Memorial Day Weekend

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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — With Memorial Day and summer coming up, the American Red Cross of Eastern North Carolina is offering up safety tips.

This will be one of the first big holiday weekends since the state’s COVID-19 restrictions were lifted. The Red Cross is hoping to refresh people’s memories on safety protocols as they head out to have some fun.

“This summer is different because lots of people didn’t get out last summer because of the pandemic,” said Michael Brown, a volunteer for the Eastern North Carolina Red Cross chapter. “People are excited. People may be distracted. People may forget some of the safety rules for the summer.”

It’s beach season: What you need to know about spotting rip currents

Memorial Day Weekend is the unofficial start of summer. Many people will hit the beach or the pool for the first time this year. Before you take a dip, there are some things you should keep in mind.

“You’ll read about people drowning,” said Brown. “They almost never have a safety vest on, so a personal floatation vest is really important. Supervising your kids around water, very important as well and if you’re a boat owner and you like to be out on the water, don’t drink and boat.”

Brown said grill safety is just as important as water safety. Grilling sparks more than 10,000 home fires on average every year, according to the Red Cross and the National Fire Protection Association.

“It’s the things that you think are dangerous that people do that get them in the most trouble, so remember to get your grill away from your home,” he said. “Don’t grill on a deck. You never want to grill indoors. Not only is it a fire hazard, but it’s a carbon monoxide hazard and people have gotten very ill or lost their lives because of carbon monoxide.”

It’s also encouraged to swim in pairs, and to enjoy water activities with a lifeguard on duty. Brown also said to be aware of rip currents when in the ocean.

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