Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial start to summer and kicks off holiday festivities for the season.
But often times, holidays can be some of the most dangerous times of the year.
Thursday night, local first responders hoped to offer a word of advice to those celebrating this weekend.
Some of the safety tips might seem like common sense to most people, but when alcohol gets involved, everything goes out the window.
Holiday weekends can be some of the most fun times of the year with family and friends but it also comes with several safety risks.
The most emphasized being drinking and driving.
Local police departments are saying they’re sure to have extra officers on patrol.
“Our big concern is going to be drinking and driving, just like every other major holiday. Everyone’s out celebrating. We want you to have a good time, but we want you to get home safely. There’s a lot of great options out there like Ubers, Lyfts, you can call a friend for a ride, we just ask that you make good choices and be safe out there,” said Katrina Kuhl, a patrolman with the Millcreek Police Department.
Other first responders echo that sentiment, saying they’re always worried about the way alcohol influences decision making during holiday weekends.
“We see a lot more alcohol related accidents. Whether it’s someone not wearing a helmet driving in an ATV, which they have never done before, or just driving home when they shouldn’t have,” said Don Erbin Jr., Fire Chief for the Kuhl Hose Fire Department.
Of course, dangers aren’t isolated to the roads.
Erbin added a warning for those having cookouts, saying never grill under an enclosed roof or overhang and keep an eye on kids around fires, water, and fireworks.
He said dispose of hot charcoal safely as one wrong move could be the start of a wildfire due to a lack of steady rain.
Often times, the accidents that happen over the holiday are preventable.
“The numbers of people that begin to lose fingers and hands this time of year increases dramatically as alcohol and fireworks mix. It’s usually a problem,” Erbin Jr. said. “It’s amazing the things that alcohol makes people do and we have to see the aftermath.”
First responders added that if you’re the sober person at a gathering, be sure to watch out for others to help keep everyone as safe as possible.