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Pay attention to safety this weekend

Memorial Day weekend is generally recognized as the unofficial start of summer, but it only takes a few precautions to help ensure your summer does not start off on a sour note.

Suffolk Police and Suffolk Fire & Rescue want all residents to have a safe time during the extended weekend. As a result, they offer these steps people can take to stay safe:

  • Lock your vehicle, and do not leave items of value inside.
  • Password-protect your cell phones.
  • Always carry a form of ID on you, especially when running and jogging.
  • Do not drink and drive or let friends and family drink and drive.
  • Avoid carrying large sums of cash. Remove and lock away Social Security cards and passports from your wallet or purse when they are not needed.
  • At home, if you are traveling, tell a trusted neighbor or friend, leave lights on inside and out, and set your motion and door alarms.
  • Drive only when well-rested and alert.
  • Use your seat belt, and make sure everyone in the vehicle does the same.
  • Observe the speed limit and follow other rules of the road.
  • Give full attention to the road and avoid distractions such as cell phones. Remember, as of Jan. 1, it is now illegal to hold a handheld personal communications device while driving in Virginia.
  • Leave ample room when behind other vehicles.
  • Never grill indoors.
  • Always supervise a grill when in use, and make sure everyone, including pets, stays away from the grill.
  • Keep the grill out in the open, away from the house, the deck, tree branches, or anything that could catch fire.
  • Use long-handled tools especially made for cooking on the grill to avoid burns to the hands or arms or possible issues with sleeves on clothing.
  • Never add charcoal starter fluid when coals have already been ignited.
  • Be ready to close the lid and turn off the grill to cut off the fuel if necessary.
  • Keep a fireproof pan under the grill to catch any falling ash or grease.
  • Swim only in designated areas supervised by lifeguards. Always swim with a buddy; do not allow anyone to swim alone.
  • Prevent unsupervised access to the water. Install and use barriers around your home pool or hot tub.
  • Maintain constant supervision. Always stay within arm’s reach of young children, even when lifeguards are present.
  • If a child is missing, check the water first.
  • Have appropriate rescue equipment, a phone, life jackets, and a first aid kit near the pool.