ROWAN COUNTY – The Rowan County Sheriff’s Office has issued a series of reminders for community members on how to keep their vacation weekend “happy, enjoyable and safe for everyone.”
Sheriff Kevin Auten reminded Rowan County residents to keep the following in mind when handling fireworks:
- Never give fireworks to young children and always follow the instructions on the package.
- Keep a supply of water nearby as a precaution.
- Make sure the person lighting the fireworks always wears eye protection.
- Light only one firework at a time and never try to relight a “misfire”
- Store fireworks in a cool, dry place away from children and pets.
- Never launch or direct fireworks at people, animals, vehicles, structures or flammable materials.
- Stay at least 500 feet away from professional fireworks.
- Immediately leave any area where untrained enthusiasts are using fireworks.
The sheriff also urged residents to be careful when swimming, regardless of the body of water or the swimmer’s experience. “Unfortunately, most drowning deaths occur within a few feet of safety,” Auten said.
In a swimming pool, he asked members of the community to take the following precautions:
- If no lifeguard is on duty, do not allow children to swim unless they are accompanied by a responsible adult who is knowledgeable in lifesaving techniques and first aid.
- Post CPR instructions and instructions for calling 9-1-1 or your local emergency number in the pool area.
- Look around the pool to make sure lifesaving devices are readily available in case of an emergency.
- Make sure that covers are installed on all drains in a swimming pool or wading pool.
- Take frequent breaks (about once an hour) where everyone comes out of the water.
- If a child is missing, check the pool first. Go to the poolside and scan the entire pool, bottom and surface, and the surrounding area of the pool.
- To reduce the risk of eye, ear, nose or throat infection from contaminated water, swim only in pools where water quality is properly maintained.
At the beach, swimmers must also take care to:
- Swim in a supervised and marked area in the presence of a lifeguard and swim with others. Never swim alone.
- If you get caught in a rip current, swim parallel to the shore until you are out of the current. Once you’re free, turn around and swim to shore.
- Look for water that is reasonably clear and free of floating matter and odors.
- Avoid swimming on beaches where there are large populations of ducks, geese or gulls.
- Look for movement in the water; it helps to keep the water clean. Do not swim in stagnant or calm water.
- Do not swim at any beach immediately after heavy rain. Runoff following a heavy rain can lead to high levels of bacteria.
- When diving on a beach, exercise extreme caution. Beach water is not as clear as pool water, so underwater obstructions may not be visible.
In addition to this, the sheriff’s office has also asked drivers during weekends and holidays to ensure that they use safe practices on the roads.
With the highways experiencing some of the highest traffic flows of the year in this region each July 4, Auten asked local drivers to practice the “golden rule” and be courteous to others on the road.
These guidelines were designed to help ensure that safety remains a priority in Rowan County while, at the same time, the community can come together to enjoy the holidays.