SCOTCH PLAINS/FANWOOD, NJ -- Labor Day is often viewed as the end of the summer and many families see it as their last chance to travel and celebrate the end of the season. Many will hit the road sometime over the three-day holiday weekend.

The Red Cross offers these travel highway safety tips:

  • Find out what disasters may occur where traveling and how to get information in the event of a disaster.
  • Pay attention to the weather forecast for the destination.
  • Buckle up and don’t drink and drive. Have a designated driver.
  • Be alert when driving; give your full attention to the road.
  • Use caution in work zones.
  • Observe speed limits and be respectful of other motorists.
  • Clean the vehicle’s lights and windows, especially at night.
  • Turn headlights on as dusk approaches, or during inclement weather.
  • Carry a Disaster Supplies Kit in the trunk.
  • Don’t let the gas tank get too low.
  • If car trouble occurs, pull as far as possible off the highway.

If Labor Day plans include a trip to the beach, rip currents could be a problem. Be aware of the danger of rip currents and remember the following:

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  • If caught in a rip current, swim parallel to the shore until out of the current. Once free, turn and swim toward shore. If unable to do that, float or tread water until free of the rip current and then head toward shore.
  • Stay at least 100 feet away from piers and jetties. Permanent rip currents often exist near these structures.

Perhaps plans include a barbecue at home. Follow these safety steps if cooking on the grill:

  • Always supervise a BBQ grill when in use.
  • Never grill indoors – not in the house or any enclosed area.
  • Make sure everyone, including the pets, stays away from the grill.
  • Keep the grill out in the open, away from the house, deck, tree branches or anything that could catch fire. 
  • Use the long-handled tools especially made for cooking on the grill to keep the chef safe.
  • Never add charcoal starter fluid when coals have already been ignited.
  • Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using grills.

Download the Red Cross First Aid App for potentially life-saving information on what to do for common, everyday first aid emergencies. For more info, visit redcross.org/prepare.