Polk sheriff offers tips for fireworks, pool safety during July 4th weekend

Published 10:53 am Friday, June 22, 2012

With July 4th approaching, Polk County Sheriff Donald J. Hill asks all citizens to join him in making this Fourth of July holiday happy, enjoyable and safe for everyone.
Polk County citizens should remember that 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, nearly 9,000 emergency room-treated injuries are associated with fireworks a year.
Sheriff Hill recommends everyone follow these safety tips:
• Never give fireworks to small children, and always follow the instructions on the packaging.
• Keep a supply of water close by as a precaution.
• Make sure the person lighting fireworks always wears eye protection.
• Light only one firework at a time and never attempt to relight “a dud.”
• Store fireworks in a cool, dry place away from children and pets.
• Never throw or point a firework toward people, animals, vehicles, structures or flammable materials.
• Stay at least 500 feet away from professional fireworks displays.
• Leave any area immediately where untrained amateurs are using fireworks.
Hill also wants citizens to use caution when swimming at a pool. He 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, Hill said. The Polk County Recreation Department offers swimming lessons for people of any age and swimming ability at Gibson Park Pool. To find out when lessons are offered, please call 828-894-2646. Pool hours are noon – 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 1-5 p.m. on Sunday. A family night swim is also offered 7-8 p.m. on Wednesday nights and a morning lap swim from 8-9 a.m. Tuesday through Friday. Lifeguards are on duty at all times.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox