Summer in Tucson is not for the faint of heart. High temperatures, dry conditions, and sudden storms present hazards for the unprepared.
Northwest Fire/Rescue offers reminders to help people enjoy the summertime safely.
Folks lucky enough to be headed for the lake should be aware that all watercraft must be equipped with one Coast Guard-approved personal flotation device for each person on board. A child under 12 must wear a PFD anytime the boat is under way.
Children must be supervised around water at all times, including near lakes, pools, wading pools and buckets, and no one of any age should ever swim alone.
Cooler temperatures in Tucson's beautiful mountain areas lure many to picnic, hike or camp. Resist the temptation to become a "climber" when you see a boulder area or rock face, unless you have learned proper climbing techniques. It's easier to go up than come down, and untrained climbers may become stranded or slip and fall. Stay on marked trails, always let someone know where you are going and take plenty of water. If you have a cell phone, take it along in case of emergency.
Campfires, when they are permitted by the Forest Service, should be built on an open, level spot, at least 10 feet away from logs, dry grass and overhanging branches. Keep a shovel and water bucket handy, and never leave a campfire unattended. When finished, drown, stir, and again drown your fire to make sure it is out. Burning charcoal produces poisonous carbon monoxide gas; never burn charcoal inside homes, tents or vehicles.
Many other summer hazards are common to residential areas as well as parks and campgrounds:
• Avoid heat exhaustion by drinking lots of water and not overdoing physical activity. Pack water and survival gear when you travel.
• Teach children how to avoid poisonous snakes, insects, spiders and reptiles.
• If you're inside when a lightning storm begins, stay inside. If you're caught outside, stay low and away from trees, water, metal and tall objects.
• Avoid washes, ditches and dry riverbeds during rainstorms because of flash flood danger. Take road closures, barricades, and "Do Not Cross When Flooded" signs seriously.
For additional safety information, call Northwest Fire/Rescue Life Safety Office at 887-1010.