With the July 4th
holiday approaching, Burke County Sheriff Whisenant asks all citizens to join
him in making this Fourth of July holiday happy, enjoyable and safe for
citizens should remember that legal fireworks, as enjoyable as they are to
watch, can be dangerous and should only be handled by professionals. According to the U.S. Consumer
Product and Safety Commission, there are nearly 9,000 emergency
room-treated injuries associated with fireworks a year. You can enjoy a
safe Fourth of July by following these safety tips:
give fireworks to small children, and always follow the instructions on the
ü Keep a
supply of water close-by as a precaution.
ü Make sure
the person lighting fireworks always wears eye protection.
only one firework at a time and never attempt to relight "a dud."
fireworks in a cool, dry place away from children and pets.
throw or point a firework toward people, animals, vehicles, structures or
ü Stay at
least 500 feet away from professional fireworks displays.
ü Leave any
area immediately where untrained amateurs are using fireworks.
Whisenant also wants citizens to use caution when swimming at a beach, the
lake or at a pool. Sheriff
Whisenant said, “Sadly, most deaths from drowning occur within a few
feet of safety.” The best thing anyone can do to stay safe in and
around the water is to learn to swim. The Red Cross has swimming courses
for people of any age and swimming ability. To find out where lessons are
offered, or to enroll in a CPR/AED or first aid course, contact your local
Red Cross chapter.
swimming pool, take the following precautions:
If no lifeguard is on duty, do not let children swim unless they
are accompanied by a responsible adult who knows lifesaving techniques and
Post CPR instructions and directions to call 9-1-1 or your
local emergency number in the pool area.
Look around the pool area to be certain lifesaving devices are
readily available for emergency use.
Be sure covers are installed on all drains of a swimming pool
or in a wading pool. The suction created by the pool’s circulating
pumps can be very dangerous unless it is reduced by covers.
Take frequent breaks (about once an hour) where everyone gets
out of the water, drinks water, reapplies sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) and
If a child is missing, check the pool first. Go to the edge of
the pool and scan the entire pool, bottom, and surface, as well as the
surrounding pool area.
To reduce the risk of eye, ear, nose or throat infection from
contaminated water, swim only in pools in which water quality is properly
maintained. The water should appear crystal clear, be continuously
circulated and be maintained at a level that allows free overflow into the
gutter or skimmer. There should not be a strong odor of ammonia or
At the beach, take the following precautions:
ü Swim in a
supervised, marked area with a lifeguard present, and swim with others.
Never swim alone.
ü If you
are caught in a rip current, swim parallel to the shore until you are out
of the current. Once you are free, turn and swim toward shore. If you can't
swim to the shore, float or tread water until you are free of the rip
current and then head toward shore.
ü Watch out
for the "dangerous too's" – too tired, too cold, too far
from safety, too much sun, too much strenuous activity.
ü Look for
water that is reasonably clear and free of floating materials and odors.
Avoid swimming at beaches where there are large populations of ducks, geese
or gulls. The waste produced by these birds causes high bacteria levels in
ü Look for
movement in the water; it helps keep the water clean. Do not swim in
stagnant or still water.
ü Do not
swim at any beach right after a heavy rain. Runoff following a heavy rain
may result in a high bacteria level.
diving at a beach, exercise extreme caution. Beach water is not as clear as
water in a pool, so underwater obstructions may not be visible.
having beach water in your mouth or nose.
keep Burke County children and citizens safe and healthy this holiday
weekend and throughout the summer.”
-Sheriff Steve E. Whisenant