Labor Day Weekend Safety Tips

The Labor Day holiday is often seen as the unofficial end to summer. So if you choose to celebrate with an end-of-season bar-b-que, take a moment to review some helpful tips that will keep you, your family and friends safe.

Before Using Your Grill
– Check the tubes that lead into the burner for any blockage from insects or food grease. Push any blockage through to the main part of the burner.
– Inspect the propane hoses for cracking, brittleness, holes and leaks. NEVER use a flame to check for gas leaks.
– Inspect the propane tank. If it has dents, gouges, bulges, corrosion, leakage, or excessive rust, return the tank to the propane gas distributor.
– Move propane hoses as far as possible from hot surfaces and dripping grease.
– Have a qualified repair-person make all repairs – do not attempt it yourself.

Using Your Grill
– Use them outdoors ONLY. When the propane tank is connected, the grill must be kept outside. And NEVER use in any enclosed area (i.e. a trailer, tent, house, garage) as carbon monoxide can accumulate.
– Position the grill in an open area at least 10 feet away from buildings, railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
– Use barbecue utensils with long handles to avoid burns and splatters.
– Wear short or tight fitting sleeves and use flame retardant mitts.
– Have a charged garden hose or bucket of sand available to extinguish any small grill flare-ups. Once lit, never leave a grill unattended.
– Never store a propane tank indoors or below ground level.
– Find a local propane distributor who will exchange an empty tank for a full one on the spot.
– When not in use, the propane tank valve must be turned to the OFF or CLOSED.

Transporting Full or Empty Propane Tanks
– Propane tanks should be secured in an upright position in the back seat of your car or bed of your truck, with transportation plugs on the outlet valve connection.
– Avoid having other passengers in the car, especially children. Never leave a propane tank unattended in your car.

Illegal Use of Grills

In order to protect against grill-related injuries, New Jersey has promulgated regulations under the Uniform Fire Code. These regulations provide that charcoal burners, portable liquid propane (LP) cooking equipment and other open-flame cooking devices such as barbecue grills and outdoor fireplaces shall not be stored or used on:

  1. any porch, balcony, or any other portion of the building;
  2. within any room or space of a building;
  3. within five (5) feet of any combustible exterior wall;
  4. within five (5) feet, vertically or horizontally, of any opening in any wall; or
  5. under any building overhang.

** PLEASE NOTE: The use of portable outdoor patio fireplaces, patio hearths, fire pits and chimneys are illegal in New Jersey.

Tips for Safe Swimming
Check weather and water conditions beforehand and throughout the day.
Always swim with a buddy in a designated swimming area supervised by a lifeguard.
Provide constant supervision to children in or near the water and always stay within arm’s reach of young children and inexperienced swimmers while they are in the water.
Young children and inexperienced swimmers should wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets.

Tips for Safe Travel
Carry an emergency supply kit in your trunk.
Let someone know your destination, your route, and when you expect to arrive.
Buckle up and observe speed limits.
Don’t drink and drive.

Tips for Enjoying the Sun

Long periods of time in the outdoors lead to problems with the sun. Five things help prevent these injuries.

Sun Screen: Sun screen with an SPF of 15 or better will help prevent sunburn on exposed skin.

Hats: The wearing of a hat prevents sunburn on the face, ears and neck. Straw hats or light colors protect from the heat of the sun.

Sunglasses: Sunglasses protect the eyes from the sun’s UV rays and glare coming off water or glass. Mirrored lenses reflect the sun’s rays and may cause more damage to the skin of the nose.

Clothing: Long, loose clothing of bright colors protect the body from the sun’s rays. The lighter colors help keep the body cool in the heat of the day.

Shade: Keep out of the sun to prevent the most severe damage. Sitting in the shade allows outdoor enjoyment while reducing the risks.