With the Memorial Day weekend coming up, many people will be outside grilling their favorite foods with family and friends, but a cooking fire can dampen the holiday spirit.
Akron Fire Captain Al Bragg tells AkronNewsNow.com that while you're outside cooking, you have to be in accordance with the law.
"There's an ordinance in the city of Akron that requires your grill to be at least 15 feet from any structure," he explained.
"Keeping your cooking at least 15 feet away from any structure is critical, because when flames rise, they can reach your home or your neighbor's home."
Bragg says cooking fires are the number one cause of fire-related accidents in the country - not just Akron.
"When you're cooking, stay right there with whatever it is you're cooking, and you want to make sure you have a portable fire extinguisher handy in case something does happen."
He says all portable fire extinguishers should have an 'ABC' rating, 'A' meaning it's good for solids, 'B' meaning it's good for liquids and flammable gases and 'C' meaning it's not conductive.
Akron Fire Captain Al Bragg says in addition to cooking fires, fireworks can also be dangerous this time of year.
"Anything that blows up or flies in the air is illegal to use in the state of Ohio, so we shouldn't be using those types of fireworks."
Before you whip up your favorite side dish or grab a your grilling tongs, make sure you follow safe picnic practices this Memorial Day weekend.
You should always start off by washing your hands, kitchen and outdoor cooking area.
The Summit County Health District's Dr. Margo Erme reminds those preparing meals, to wash their hands in between cooking and handling food.
Dr. Erme's Safety Tips:
"If I have a bowl of potato salad, then I have it sitting in a top of another bowl that had ice in it, and then I stir it up regularly so that it distributes that coolness around," Erme said.
Do you have any safety tips? Share your suggestions with us below in the comments or on AkronNewsNow.com's Facebook page.
An increased number of people will be taking to the roads this Memorial Day weekend with family and friends.
Kevin Thomas, Vice President of the AAA Akron Auto Club says more travelers will be hitting the highways during the long weekend.
"We are looking at a slight increase over last year, with over 34.8 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more over the weekend, which is a 1 percent increase from last year."
Approximately 500,000 more drivers will be on Northeast Ohio roads this Memorial Day weekend.
Thomas says with the dropping gas prices and steady optimism about the economy, more drivers will make the trip.
"Gas prices actually I think are helping people make the decision to travel because they are lower," he says.
"The drop in the prices over the last several weeks are really helping the motorists."
AAA Akron Vice President Kevin Thomas by Akron NewsNow
He believes that people are feeling good enough about the economy and will make changes along the way in their spending habits instead of choosing either to go or not go.
Thomas says that no matter where you go or what you do this Memorial Day weekend, safety is the key.
"We encourage all of our members and travelers and motorists everywhere to take all of the precautions possible, take your time, know where you're going, and drive defensively."
He also emphasized all passengers, especially children using their seat belts while traveling.
"It's important to know child safety seat regulations and other laws while you're driving, because we want people to have safe and enjoyable journeys."
Ohioans will notice slightly higher gas prices from a week ago.
AAA Auto Club reports the average price for a gallon of regular is about $3.66-- up 3 cents from a week ago.
"With Memorial Day a week away, it's time to put to bed an old myth that gasoline prices rise ahead of a major holiday," said GasBuddy.com Senior Petroleum Analyst Patrick DeHaan, in a press release.
As of Monday morning, GasBuddy.dot.com shows prices in Akron near $3.55 and $3.58 in Canton.
Click here to find the lowest gas prices near you.
Akron, May 21- Average retail gasoline prices in Akron have fallen 2.0 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $3.64/g yesterday. This compares with the national average that has fallen 2.8 cents per gallon in the last week to $3.70/g, according to gasoline price website AkronGasPrices.com.
Including the change in gas prices in Akron during the past week, prices yesterday were 10.2 cents per gallon lower than the same day one year ago and are 4.1 cents per gallon lower than a month ago. The national average has decreased 15.1 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 13.7 cents per gallon lower than this day one year ago.
"With Memorial Day a week away, it's time to put to bed an old myth that gasoline prices rise ahead of a major holiday," said GasBuddy.com Senior Petroleum Analyst Patrick DeHaan. "Average gasoline prices will likely continue to decline in the days ahead of Memorial Day, but folks will still say come next year that prices went up over the weekend this year. It's a sign of how sensitive motorists become to gasoline prices around the holidays, nothing more, and most of the time, the myth isn't true. This year will be one of those years- unless you're on the West Coast, prices have been slowly coming down," DeHaan said.
If you thought prices at the pump seemed lower lately-- you were right.
Average retail gas prices in Akron dipped 10.1 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $3.56 a gallon as of Sunday.
The national average dropped 3.3 cents a gallon last week according to AkronGasPrices.com.
"While gasoline prices east of the Rockies have been falling, the West Coast remains at the mercy of refinery production," said GasBuddy.com Senior Petroleum Analyst Patrick DeHaan in a press release.
As the Memorial Day weekend inches closer, DeHann says motorists on the West Coast are watching and waiting to see how much they'll pay to fill up.
"The entire West Coast right now is looking for any reason for a continuation in the price rally we've seen in the last week as supply remains tight, and stakes high as Memorial Day weekend is just two weeks away. While pump prices may continue their decline outside the West Coast, any refinery blip certainly has the potential for localized hotspots, and motorists should be aware of that," DeHaan said.
Check gas prices near you here!
On the web: AkronGasPrices.com
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