After a long snowy winter, it’s no surprise that Massachusetts residents are enjoying the warmer weather — but as you dive into summer activities, make sure you’re doing them safely. The Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPSS), Department of Public Health (DPH), and Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) have tips to keep you safe while you cook in your backyard, drive to new destinations, or relax at the pool.
When enjoying a hot summer day barbecuing with your friends and family, practice safe cooking and storage tips before lighting up the grill.
- Shop for Perishables Last — When buying perishable items, such as milk and poultry, make sure to pick them up last, as they can spoil quickly in hot weather. After you have finished your shopping, head home to refrigerate the food.
- Thaw Meats in the Refrigerator — Meats should be taken out of the freezer and thawed in the refrigerator overnight. Never thaw meat in the kitchen, as germs can grow rapidly at room temperature.
- Cook Foods Thoroughly — Cook each food item at the proper temperature in order to kill harmful bacteria that can make you sick, such as salmonella. Keep a list of safe food temperatures on hand when cooking different types of meats.
- Keep a Grill Circle of Safety — Make sure children and pets are at least three feet away from grills.
- Place Grills Away from the House, Tent, or RV — Place grills away from the house and deck railings. Make sure grills are not under eaves or overhanging branches.
- Open Gas Grill Lids Before Lighting — If you have a gas grill, make sure that the lid is open when you light it. Propane can build up inside, and when ignited, can blow off the lid.
The summer months are a great time to hop in the car and enjoy the open road with your family. Before you buckle up and start your engine, follow these car safety tips:
- Select the Right Car Seat — Carefully select a car seat that fits your child’s age and size, and learn how to install a child seat. You can find a registered Child Passenger Safety (CPS) technician who can determine if your car seat is installed correctly or check for a fitting station or checkup event near you in Massachusetts.
- Never Leave Children or Pets Inside Closed Cars — Heatstroke, a condition where the body’s temperature control system shuts down due to overheating, is the leading cause of non-crash-related deaths in children 14 years old and younger. Even when car windows are open, temperatures inside can rise almost 20 degrees within 10 minutes, increasing the risk of your child or pet suffering from extreme heat-related conditions.
- Supervise Children — Even if your child knows how to swim, it is important to watch your children closely whenever they are in or near a body of water.
- Be Ready for an Emergency — Take a Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) class and remember to keep a list of emergency contact numbers on hand. You can register for a CPR class in your area with the American Red Cross.
- Use Life Jackets — U.S. Coast Guard–approved life jackets should be used instead of air-filled or foam toys such as “water wings” and “noodles,” since these toys are not designed to keep swimmers safe.
- Secure Your Pool After Swimming — Remove toys and secure your pool with a pool gate or tarp once everyone is out.
Following these food, fire, car, and water safety tips will help keep you and your family safe while you’re outside having fun.
Share your summer plans with @MassGov by tweeting or commenting below.
Tags: barbecue safety, bbq safety, car safety, child passenger safety, child safety, child safety tips, cooking safety, Fire safety, food safety, Grilling safety, home safety, outdoors safety, public safety, safety tips, Summer, summer grilling, summer safety, summer vacation, water safety
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