On behalf of the 154 professional men and women of the Salt River Police Department, we would like to wish everyone a safe and happy summer. Each month the SRPD will be publishing Crime Prevention and Safety Tips so our Community has more information about deterring and preventing crime as well as safety tips for families, home and driving. It is in this spirit that we are providing these Crime Prevention and Safety Tips for June, which are good to use all year round.
According to experts, in just three minutes the temperature of a car can rise from 78 to 100 degrees, putting children at risk of hyperthermia or heatstroke. In the summer here in the Valley, we all know that outside temperatures can exceed 115 degrees, rising to well over 165 degrees inside a parked car! At these temperatures, serious injury or even death can occur when children or pets are left in the car for even a few minutes.
Often we may bring along our children, parents or grandparents and then leave them in the car “for just a few moments.” This can have catastrophic consequences. Our recommendation is “If you can’t take them inside, don’t bring them for the ride.” Always check, double-check and triple-check that no person or animal is left behind inside your parked car.
We also recommend that you always keep your car doors locked and your keys inaccessible to small children. Children are adventurous and curious and may choose to play inside a parked car. By securing your vehicle and hiding your keys, you can prevent a terrible catastrophe.
Swimming is the most popular summer activity; however, swimmers must be carefully supervised. Here is a list of recommendations from the American Red Cross:
• Swim in designated areas, supervised by lifeguards.
• Always swim with a buddy; do not swim alone. Even at a public pool or a lifeguarded beach, use the buddy system!
• Ensure that everyone in the family learns to swim well. Enroll in age-appropriate Red Cross water orientation and Learn-to-Swim courses.
• Never leave a young child unattended near water, and do not entrust a child’s life to another child. Teach children to always ask permission to go near water.
• Have young children or inexperienced swimmers wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets around water, but do not rely on life jackets alone.
• Establish rules for your family and enforce them without fail. For example, set limits based on each person’s ability; do not let anyone play around pool drains and suction fittings; and do not allow swimmers to hyperventilate before swimming underwater or have breath-holding contests.
• Even if you do not plan on swimming, be cautious around natural bodies of water including ocean shoreline, rivers and lakes. Cold water temperatures, currents and underwater hazards can make these bodies of water dangerous.
• If you go boating, wear a life jacket! Most boating-related fatalities occur from drowning.
• Avoid alcohol use. Alcohol impairs judgment, balance and coordination; affects swimming and diving skills; and reduces the body’s ability to stay warm.
• Install and use barriers around your home pool or hot tub. Safety covers and pool alarms should be added as additional layers of protection.
• Ensure that pool fences enclose the entire pool area and are at least 4 feet high with gates that are self-closing, self-latching, and open outward and away from the pool. The latch should be high enough to be out of reach for a small child.
• If you have an above-ground or inflatable pool, remove access ladders and secure the safety cover whenever the pool is not in use.
• Remove any structures that provide access to the pool, such as outdoor furniture, climbable trees, decorative walls and playground equipment.
• Keep toys that are not in use away from the pool and out of sight. Toys can attract young children to the pool area.
• Never swim in canals or ditches. The swift-moving water can pull you under water; and sharp objects, rocks and hidden obstructions can result in serious injuries or death.
Fireworks and Firearms Safety
During our hot, dry summers, the use of restricted fireworks and firearms to celebrate is both dangerous and illegal. Tragic, avoidable accidents occur whenever otherwise-legal devices are used in an illegal or dangerous manner. Small fireworks and even sparklers burn at high temperatures, and the sparks can cause serious injuries, fires, explosive injuries and even death. Leave the fireworks to the experts.
Being a responsible gun owner means ensuring your firearm is always handled safely. Never ever discharge your firearm to celebrate any event. Not only is this illegal, it could result in serious injury or death. What goes up will eventually come down.
Let’s make sure no “accident” ever occurs as a result of careless firearm use or storage. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when it comes to your firearms:
• Store firearms in a locked cabinet, gun safe, gun vault or storage case when not in use, ensuring they are inaccessible to children and cannot be handled by anyone without your permission.
• Store your ammunition in a locked location separate from the firearms.
• Use a gun locking device that renders the firearm inoperable when not in use. A gun lock should be used as an additional safety precaution and not as a substitute for secure storage.
• Make sure young people in your home are aware of and understand the safety guidelines concerning firearms.
• Remind children that if they find an unattended firearm in their home or anywhere else, they must not touch it and should tell an adult.
• Always unload, clean and place your firearms in their secure storage location immediately after returning from a hunting trip or a day at the shooting range.
• Educate everyone in your family about firearms safety.
• Make sure you get your firearms registered by the SRPD; this is required by law in the Community.
• Never mix alcohol and/or drugs with firearms.
We hope you keep these simple messages in mind and that everyone in your home stays cool, dry and safe this summer.