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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, June 28, 2013
Contact:
Sandy Johnson, Thurston County Emergency Management at (360) 867-2800
Steve Romines, Thurston County Medic One at (360) 704-2783

Soak Up the Sun with Safety in Mind


Temperatures are rising as the 4th of July approaches, with high temperatures in Thurston County expected to climb into the 80s and possibly break 90 degrees this weekend and into the holiday week.


WATER SAFETY
A day at the beach or on the lake is a great way to beat the holiday heat, and following some simple water safety tips can keep your fun in the sun from taking a tragic turn.
  • Life jackets save lives! The best way for kids and adults to stay safe when swimming, boating or floating is to wear a life jacket that fits you well.

  • The air may be hot, but the water is still cold. Many rivers and lakes in western Washington are fed by snow melt and glaciers, and the average water temperature for Puget Sound is only about 60 degrees. Stay close to shore and rest if you are cold or tired.

  • Always swim with a buddy, and swim where there are lifeguards when possible. Let friends and family know where you plan to swim and when you expect to return home.

  • Swimming in open water is harder than in a pool, and even strong swimmers will tire faster and get into trouble more quickly. Stay close to shore where rescuers can easily reach you in an emergency.

  • Rivers, lakes and beaches have hidden hazards. Watch out for sudden drop-offs, riptides and currents, rocks, logs and snags that are hidden underwater.
  • Stay sober and know your limits. Learn CPR and always take a cell phone with GPS.
Do you need a life jacket before you hit the water? Safe Kids Thurston County has a life jacket loaner program, where you can borrow life jackets at no cost. The life jacket loaner program has life jackets in every size, from infant to adult, available at Kenneydell Park, Pioneer Park, Millersylvania State Park and Offutt Lake Resort. Visit www.SafeKidsThurstonCounty.org/water-safety for more information on the life jacket loaner program and other child safety information.


FIREWORKS SAFETY
Don't be fooled by the recent rain! When dry hot weather takes hold, grasses, shrubs, woody debris and the roofs of homes and buildings can dry out quickly and increase the fire risk from 4th of July fireworks. Following a few fireworks safety tips will keep your holiday fun, safe and sane.
  • Keep lit fireworks away from flammable materials like grass, wood, pine needles, and structures like houses, garages or barns.

  • Keep a water source handy to deal with potential fires and douse all fireworks to make sure they are out.

  • Use only "safe and sane" fireworks. In Washington state that means no bottle rockets, no firecrackers, no cherry bombs and no missiles.

  • Do not hold or throw fireworks after they are lit and do not relight unexploded fireworks.

  • Have an adult present at all times when fireworks are being set off, and young children should never light fireworks.
In unincorporated Thurston County, it's legal to sell fireworks from noon, June 28 through 9 p.m. on July 4. It's legal to discharge fireworks ONLY from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. on July 3 and 4. The sale and discharge of fireworks is banned in the city of Lacey and the city of Olympia. For more fireworks and 4th of July safety tips, visit www.SafeKidsThurstonCounty.org.


For additional safety tips on how to beat the heat, download the Thurston County Media One pamphlet at www.co.thurston.wa.us/medic1/documents/Heat-injury-pamphlet.pdf.



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County Commissioners:

Carolina Mejia
District 1

Gary Edwards
District 2

Tye Menser
District 3