Keep safety a priority over holiday weekend

Posted at 2:37 PM, May 26, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-26 14:37:10-04

(CNN) - While Memorial Day is set aside to honor those who died in war, the holiday also provides most people with a long weekend, and many Americans plan to put it to good use.

Memorial Day marks the unofficial start of summer, and the Red Cross has released some safety tips for those taking advantage of the extra time for play.

First, driving safely is imperative as 39 million people are expected to travel for the holiday.

Make sure you are well-rested and alert before getting behind the wheel and avoid distractions while driving such as cell phones.

Taxi cabs and ride-sharing services such as Uber or Lyft should be used if you plan on drinking alcohol.

Always make sure to swim with either a friend of where there is a lifeguard on duty. Make sure to keep an eye on younger or more inexperienced swimmers, and use floatation devices or a life jacket approved by the U.S. Coast Guard.

Having a first aid kit on hand is also a good idea.

When cooking out, be sure to set the grill up in the open, away from anything that could catch fire. Use long-handled tools that are made for use with a grill.

Always supervise the grill when it's in use, and keep pets and children away from hot surfaces.

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