Jimmy Patronis offers top tips for a safe Memorial Day

"Do not let a fun holiday weekend turn into a tragedy.”

Memorial Day is a time to reflect on the many service members who lost their lives in the line of duty.

For many Americans, celebrating the holiday means finding peace in the company of friends and loved ones, doing fun summer activities like cooking out or heading to the beach.

If you’re trying to beat the heat this Memorial Day, you don’t want to miss these tips from Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and State Fire Marshal, Jimmy Patronis, on how to keep yourself out of hot water, while honoring the spirit of the holiday.

First, pay attention to the road. Evidence suggests that travelers are driving increasingly on Memorial Day, and it’s become the leading holiday for fatal car accidents. Avoid distractions, by not texting or checking your phone, and be a safe, defensive driver.

Next Patronis suggests that home chefs beware of grilling mistakes that cause accidents.


Always use propane and charcoal grills outside, in a clear area, unobstructed by tree limbs or fixtures. Position the grill away from awnings, deck railing and other structural elements of the home.

To avoid tragedy in bodies of water, people should be aware of weaker swimmers in the area and be ready to take on the role of lifeguard, if needed. Florida is the leader in drowning deaths for ages 1-4 in the United States, and it’s important adults stay alert on Memorial Day weekend when hot weather has people hitting the pools for a little relief.

Many homeowners and spectators, alike, appreciate fireworks on Memorial Day weekend but pay attention to local laws and ordinances to avoid needless injury or death.

Also, keep children and pets away from sparklers, by at least 30 feet.

Light fireworks only one time and never attempt to relight a dud.

Patronis said, “As millions of Americans gather with family and friends to honor the legacy of the over 1.35 million service members who have lost their lives in conflict, we must remember to stay safe while enjoying this major holiday weekend.

“Remember to drive safely, enjoying barbecue grills, swimming in pools and using fireworks with caution. Do not let a fun holiday weekend turn into a tragedy.”

If you find yourself out and about this Memorial Day, don’t forget about AAA’s Tow-To-Go program for a free, confidential ride by calling (855) 2-TOW-2-GO or (855) 286-9246.

Staff Reports


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