Summer Tips

Scooters, bikes, in-line skates and skateboards are associated with numerous injuries yearly.

• Wear a comfortable, properly fitted helmet bearing the label of an independent testing lab. Be sure that the helmet sits level on top of the head not rocking in any direction and always fasten the safety strap.

• Be sure that safety gear (wrist, elbow and kneepads) fits properly and does not interfere with the rider's movement, vision or hearing. Wrist pads are not recommended for scooter riders as they may affect their ability to maneuver.

• Ride scooters and bikes only on smooth, paved surfaces and only ride during daylight hours. • Learn the proper hand signals and use them when you turn or stop.

• Come to a complete stop before entering driveways, paths or sidewalks, then look left, right and left again for bikes, cars or pedestrians heading your way.

• Teach crossing safety to children by example

Barbecue Safety

Beware when you barbecue. In 1999 alone, gas and charcoal grills caused 1,500 structure fires and 4,200 outdoor fires in or on home properties, resulting in a combined direct property loss of $29.8 million, according to NFPA.

• When using barbecue grills on decks or patios, be sure to leave sufficient space from siding and eaves.

• Always supervise a barbecue grill when in use.

• Keep children and pets far away from grills.

• With charcoal grills, only use charcoal starter fluids designed for barbecue grills and do not add fluid after coals have been lit.

• With gas grills, be sure that the hose connection is tight and check hoses carefully for leaks. Applying soapy water to the hoses will easily and safely reveal any leaks.

• Always follow the manufacturer's instructions and have the grill repaired by a professional, if necessary.

Water Safety

Extra caution should be used when around water, for children and adults.

• Only swim in approved areas.

• Always supervise children near water at all times and make sure that children learn to swim. • Check the depth of the water with a lifeguard before jumping in.

• Always wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved PFD (personal floatation device) when boating, jet-skiing, tubing or water-skiing. Air-filled swimming aids, like water wings or inner tubes, are not substitutes for approved PFDs. An adult should always supervise children using these devices.

• Be sure to extinguish all smoking materials and shut down motors, fans and heating devices before fueling a boat. In case of a spill, wipe up fuel immediately and check the bilge for fuel leakage and odors. After fueling and before starting the boat's motor, ventilate with the blower for at least four minutes

Camping Safety 

Always use a flame retardant tent and set up camp far away from the campfire.

• Only use flashlights or battery-powered lanterns inside the tent or any other closed space, not liquid-filled heaters or lanterns.

• Always build your campfire down wind away from your tent. Clear all vegetation and dig a pit surrounded by rocks before building your campfire.

• Store liquid fire starter (not gasoline) away from your tent and campfire and only use dry kindling to freshen a campfire.

• Always put out a campfire when going to sleep or leaving the campsite. To extinguish the fire, cover with dirt or pour water over it.

Fireworks

Fireworks lead to thousands of injuries requiring emergency room treatment, according to NFPA. These dazzling, but dangerous devices can burn up to 1200 F and can cause burns, lacerations, amputations and blindness. Stay safe by always leaving fireworks to professionals.

• Stay back at least 500 feet from professional fireworks displays.

• Treat all fireworks, whether legal or illegal for consumers, as suitable only for use by trained professionals.

• If you find fireworks, do not touch them but instead direct authorities to them.

• Leave any area where amateurs are using fireworks.

Summer Safety Section Reprinted from the National Fire Protection Agency