Houston Fire Department's Essential Safety Tips for a Safe Memorial Day Weekend

Jo-Carolyn Goode | 5/27/2024, 12:17 p.m.
As we honor the brave individuals who have served our nation this Memorial Day weekend, the Houston Fire Department (HFD) …

 As we honor the brave individuals who have served our nation this Memorial Day weekend, the Houston Fire Department (HFD) is committed to ensuring a safe and enjoyable holiday for all residents. Whether you're firing up the grill or taking a dip in the pool, following these essential safety tips can help prevent accidents and ensure a memorable celebration.

Barbecue Grill Safety Tips

Barbecues are a Memorial Day favorite, but it's crucial to follow safety guidelines to prevent fire hazards:


Location Matters: Keep portable barbecue pits, charcoal grills, and other open-flame cooking devices away from combustible balconies, walls, and roofs. Ensure they are at least 10 feet from any combustible materials.

Ignition Safety: Always use a charcoal lighter to ignite the barbecue. Avoid using gasoline, as it can cause dangerous flash fires. Keep a fire extinguisher or a charged garden hose nearby while the fire is burning, and regularly check the pit.

Disposal of Ashes: Place hot ash and coals in a non-combustible container until they are completely cooled or thoroughly saturated with water before disposal.

Pool and Water Safety

With the rising temperatures, pool activities are a great way to cool off, but water safety is paramount, especially for children:

Supervision: Active, focused adult supervision is the most crucial safety measure to prevent water-related incidents. Most child drownings occur in home pools.

Never Leave Children Unattended: Always watch your children around swimming pools and never leave them alone near water.

Enroll children over the age of three in swimming lessons taught by qualified instructors. However, remember that swimming lessons do not make children "drown proof." Supervision is always necessary.

Use Approved Flotation Devices: Ensure that flotation devices meet safety standards.

Inspect Pool Fences: If you live in an apartment with a pool, check the fence and gate. Report any defects to the apartment management immediately.

Emergency Preparedness: Bring a cell phone to the pool for emergencies, keep a first aid kit and emergency contacts handy, and ensure there's no running on the pool deck to prevent slips and falls.

Weather Awareness: Pay attention to local weather conditions. If there is lightning or thunder, get out of the water until the storm passes. 

Teaching Children Water Safety

Educating children on water safety is essential for preventing accidents:

Always Swim with a Buddy: Teach children never to swim alone.

Avoid Diving into Unknown Waters: Jump feet first to avoid head injuries.

No Rough Play Remind children not to push or jump on others in or around water.

Supervised Swimming Areas: Only swim in areas that are supervised.

Follow Rules: Always obey pool rules and posted signs.

Learn CPR

HFD recommends that parents and guardians learn CPR. In case of a drowning incident, performing CPR quickly and correctly can save lives. For more information on local CPR classes, contact the American Red Cross, local hospitals, or medical schools.

For additional safety tips and information, visit the HFD website at [www.houstonfire.org](https://www.houstonfire.org).