Labor Day Weekend Safety Tips

by Doug Zanes | Last Updated: September 4, 2015

It’s finally here.

The oasis in the desert…

The little piece of mini heaven if only for three days…


We get it! A three day weekend feels like an extra vacation especially for so many of us that are on the go at work, at school, at home with the kids (super moms, we know this means you’ll have the rugrats more than you prefer…)

But! Alas our saving weekend is finally upon us and we have a few safety tips so you can make sure it is enjoyable and everyone in the family returns to their respective occupations all in one piece 🙂

  1. On the Road Again!

According to the National Safety Council, nearly 400 deaths result from motor vehicle collisions over Labor Day Weekend….

  • This weekend’s roads will be packed to the brim with drivers so if you’re planning a weekend excursion make sure you’re well rested, plan for frequent rest stops, and divide driving duties if possible.
  • You should also have your car checked by a registered mechanic to avoid a break down on the road.
  • Also, don’t forget to pack a vehicle emergency kit that contains items like a flashlight, jumper cables, a tool kit, tire gauge and flares.
  1. All of the Lights!

Although they are fun, flashy and festive, fireworks can also be dangerous, risky and life threatening when used inappropriately or incorrectly…

The National Safety Council reports that children 10 to 14 years of age are at three times the risk of being injured by fireworks than the population as a whole!

Even sparklers can inflict serious injury!

  • If you choose to use fireworks be sure you only light one at a time, maintain the recommended distance from spectators, and never allow any horseplay while fireworks are being set up or ignited.
  • If a firework malfunctions, DO NOT re-light it!
  • Above all, never allow young children handle fireworks and never use fireworks while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  1. Please Drink Responsibly

It is inevitable and enjoyable to have a few brews and other yum alcoholic beverages especially on a great three day weekend…

But beware that drinking impacts your decision making, coordination, reaction time and vision which makes you vulnerable to a number of hazards.

  • If you plan on consuming alcohol, setting a limit on how much you will consume…. the time to set your limit is before you arrive at the neighborhood cookout. (HINT, HINT)
  • Once you set an alcohol limit, stick to it! Find an accountability partner in this
  • Drink one glass of water in between alcoholic drinks to help keep hydrated and pace your alcohol consumption.
  • If you drink more than you planned, ask for help getting home.
  • ***Keep in mind that operating a motor vehicle after just a drink or two is dangerous.
  1. I’m on a Boat…Just be SAFE!

Boating is a quintessential Labor Day event…and an awesome one at that!

  • Make sure you keep it safe by ensuring the boat is in good mechanical condition, and carries all safety equipment including personal flotation devices, an emergency kit and a first aid kit.
  • Keep away from restricted areas, be sure that you’re familiar with the rules of the water, and tell someone on land where you’re heading and what time you expect to return.
  • For more boating safety tips, read “7 Tips for Avoiding Danger on a Boat.”
  1. For Those Summer Cleaners…

For most of us, Labor Day weekend is all about relaxing but for some it’s time for catching up on outdoor chores before Fall comes around!

If that’s the case, the we want you to be safe!

  • Before you use any power tool make sure the cord isn’t frayed, that it is free of cuts and appears to be in good condition.
  • If you need an extension cord be sure it is designed for outdoor use. Additionally, be sure that the extension cord’s amperage can handle the demand of the power tool you’re using.
  • Cleaning gutters, trimming trees and painting are just a few common outdoor chores that require a ladder, and ladders are notoriously dangerous. Only use a ladder when there’s someone else at home and if you’re using a metal ladder be careful that it does not come into contact with an electrical source.
  1. Prevent a Tummy Ache… or Worse!

What’s a Labor Day holiday without lots of food? Picnics, barbeques, and neighborhood potlucks are plentiful and that means so is the chance of foodborne illness…

  • To minimize the chance of cross-contamination, wash your hands before and after you touch raw meat.
  • Dry your hands on paper towels instead of cloth towels, and discard immediately.
  • Refrigerate meat that’s waiting to hit the grill. Never leave food that requires refrigeration (think potato salad, coleslaw or chicken salad) out in the sun.
    • Instead, set the item the bowl is in on top of a pan filled with ice, and serve from a shaded area. Return the item to the refrigerator as soon as party-goers have been served.
  1. Hydration Nation and Sunblock

This last tip is especially important for our desert dwellers!

Soda and juice might be a bit tastier, but you should hydrate your body with water instead…Or at least in between those brews and wines 🙂

  • If you’re having a party, set out a few tubs full of bottled water and encourage your guests to drink small amounts often..
  • Apply sunscreen before you head out in the sun and reapply as necessary.
    • Remember that the elderly and the young have especially sensitive skin and don’t forget that some medications can increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun.

Make it the best Labor Day Weekend Yet!


Doug Zanes: Founding Attorney Raised in Douglas, Arizona, and went to college at Arizona State University and graduated from law school at St. Mary’s University School of Law in Texas. Doug began practicing law in Phoenix Arizona in 1997.
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