Safety starts with you

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Austin Holthaus
  • 341st Missile Wing Safety Office
"The second day of July 1776, will be the most memorable epocha, in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding generations, as the great anniversary festival...

It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade with shews, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other from this time forward forever more."- From John Adams' July 3, 1776, letter to his wife Abigail.

While John Adams may have been off on the timing of our celebration by a couple of days, we generally follow his advice on the manner in which we choose to celebrate perhaps the most historical moment of our republic.

As we head into our 4th of July holiday and advance through the dog-days of summer, the 341st Missile Wing Safety Office asks everyone to remember that safety has one objective: mishap prevention. 

Just because the Air Force has put its annual "Critical Days of Summer" campaigns on the shelf for the time being, it doesn't mean the Safety Community's drive to prevent summer mishaps has changed.  Remember each of us faces a multitude of hazards every day, both on and off duty.  If we make the effort to recognize those hazards and implement controls and we can prevent mishaps. 

Here are a few strategies to reduce summer activity risk:

· Never disassemble or try to make your own fireworks
· Don't point sparklers, or fireworks at yourself or others
· Only light fireworks on the ground and in areas that are dry and fire resistant
· Don't attempt to light multiple devices at the same time
· Never allow young children to handle fireworks or sparklers
· Always keep a portable fire extinguisher close by
· Also keep a water hose or buckets of water nearby to put out fires

Motorcycle riders:
· Determine if your motorcycle and you are road ready before riding a motorcycle.
· Check your T-CLOCS (T: tires and wheels, C: controls, L: lights, O: oil and fluids, C: chassis and chain, S: stands)
· Ensure you are road ready:  wear proper protective gear, have been properly licensed and trained, and hone your riding skills

Summer travel:
· Prepare your vehicle
· Pack an emergency kit
· Watch out for other drivers on the road
· Prepare for changing weather conditions
· Watch out for changing road conditions

Boating/personal water craft:
· Wear a life jacket
· Receive proper boating safety instruction
· Don't drink and operate equipment on the water
· Protect children on the water
· Know proper procedures for the type of boat you are operating

· Be careful of currents, sandbars, inlets, et cetera.
· Know the weather conditions
· Do not swim if you have been drinking
· Beginners need to use a flotation device

Don't drink and drive, but if you drink have a plan to use a designated driver or a call taxi.  Always wear your seat belt and no texting and driving.  Use caution - at all times!  Plan, plan, plan!  Go ahead and follow Adams' advice on how to celebrate the season, but please be safe in doing so.

Enjoy the 4th of July like John Adams imagined.  Enjoy summer, enjoy your family and friends...but be safe and look out for one another.  Safety starts with you!