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Cooking and driving dangers on Labor Day weekend

As the majority of companies have Labor Day off, thousands of families around the country are planning to celebrate with their additional non-work hours. Some travel to a relative’s house in a different state while others are fine having a backyard grill out with a couple of beers at their sides. The personal finance site WalletHub found that over 40 percent of Americans have a barbecue over the weekend while nearly a quarter of the population plans to travel elsewhere, with over 85 percent of them traveling by car.

Many Labor Day traditions are eerily similar to the Fourth of July, and unfortunately that means there is a higher chance for personal injuries to occur in Texas this weekend. Before you celebrate your well-earned time off, you should be aware of the potential hazards that lie on the Lone Star State’s roads and your grill.

Barbecue your foods, not your house

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) found that there are on average 9,600 home fires started per year by grills and over 16,000 patients that went to the ER from burns or injuries. Unsurprisingly, the summer months were the peak months for them to occur. As Labor Day marks the end of the summer for many Texans, expect to see and smell plenty of grills in your neighborhood.

The NFPA also found that one-third of the fires and nearly half of civilian deaths and injuries came from leaving the equipment unattended. When the grill is not in use, you should turn it off and make sure that it is not near your house as it is cooling down. The rest of the frequent mishaps came from not maintaining the grill properly or placing it to close to combustible materials. Stay away from the grill if you suspect a gas leak or you smell gas as you are cooking.

Look out for the drunk and distracted

AAA Texas recently released a news release warning the residents, “Don’t Drive Intoxicated, Don’t Drive Intexticated.” They found that an average of 40 residents die on state roads every year from negligent drivers.

With the dramatic increase in motor vehicle travel over the holiday weekend, that also means there are more drunk and distracted drivers on the road. Many motorists are drunk either from spending their extra time at the bar or going to a barbeque, and the increase in traffic might gravitate impatient drivers towards their cell phones.

It is important to keep an eye out for any suspicious road behavior that could potentially put you and your family in harm’s way. Take as many precautions as you can behind the road and the grill to ensure that you have a safe and fun Labor Day Weekend with your fellow Texans.

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