SUMMER SAFETY STARTS AT HOME

Summertime, particularly in beautiful Broward County, is a time for families. The kids are out of school, and the sun is shining. It’s when we splash in the ocean, play in the pool and pile in the car to see relatives. By taking a few precautions and keeping the following summer safety tips in mind, we can all keep our families and our homes protected.

Did you know that drowning is the leading cause of death in Broward County for children under 5? Disappointingly, our county leads the nation in such tragedies. The only way to prevent a young child from drowning is constant supervision. Never let a child near any body of water without an adult. A little one can drown more quickly and quietly than you’d think. Install a self-closing gate and an alarm on any doors leading to the pool area. Plenty of families have lost their little ones while adults were inside cooking dinner or on the phone, never realizing the child had wandered out by the swimming pool. A cover over the swimming pool helps, too. For more information about preventing drowning, visit the Broward Sheriff’s Office drowning prevention page online at www.sheriff.org under the “staying safe” tab. There you can take BSO’s pool safety survey, or you can call to have a BSO representative visit your home to conduct the survey. For more information about the survey, call BSO's Fire Marshall Bureau at (954) 831-8210.

If you are going on vacation this summer, be sure to take precautions with your home. Contact BSO to arrange for a home security inspection. Let us know when you are leaving town, when you will return and how we can contact you if necessary. It’s important to make sure your vacant home looks occupied. A dark house with piles of newspapers in the driveway is an invitation to burglars. Either suspend delivery of your newspaper and mail or have them picked up by a friend. Lock your garage door and disconnect the automatic opener. Tell a trusted neighbor that you are going away and ask him to dial 911 if there is ever anyone on your property.

And no summer safety tip list is complete without mentioning hurricane preparation. Make sure your house and your family are ready for anything. For tips on how to best prepare yourself, visit www.broward.org/hurricane/ online. Don’t wait until a storm is threatening.

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