General Safety Advice

  1. At Home
  2. In Car
  3. On Public Transportation
  4. While Traveling
    1. Before Leaving
    2. On the Road
    3. Hotel and Motel Security
    4. Sight-Seeing
    5. Camping Tips
  5. For Businesses
    1. Physical Precautions
    2. Internal Precautions
    3. Shoplifting Prevention
    4. Vandalism Prevention
    5. Robbery Prevention
  6. Seasonal Tips
    1. At Home
    2. Shopping
    3. Holiday Party Safety
    4. Halloween Safety
    5. Fireworks Safety Tips
    6. Boating Safety

A. At Home:

  • Have lights at all entrances and have a wide-angle door viewer on all exterior doors.
  • Have good locks on all doors and windows — and use them!
  • Do not use your full name on your mailbox, phone directory, or on your answering machine.
  • Do not leave a schedule of your times away from home on your answering machine.
  • Know which of your neighbors you can trust and depend upon in an emergency.
  • Check who is at the door before opening it, and do not open the door to an unexpected visitor.
  • Don’t hide extra keys in easily accessible places. Criminals will find them.
  • Ask for photo identification of all repair persons. If you are suspicious, call to verify employment.
  • Never give personal information to telephone solicitors.
  • Consider creating a “safe room” with a separate telephone line or cellular phone, and strong locks. If someone breaks in, you can retreat there and call for help.
  • Do not let strangers into your home or apartment to use the telephone. Offer to make the call for them.
  • Use security bars for added security on sliding exterior doors.

B. In Your Car:

  • Keep your car in good working order and the gas tank at least half full.
  • When you approach your parked vehicle, visually check the area around the vehicle for any suspicious persons or activity. If you observe anything suspicious walk to where there are other people and call the police.
  • Always park in visible, well-lighted areas.
  • Try to avoid parking next to a larger pickup truck or van. They can be easy to hide behind.
  • Have your keys ready when approaching your vehicle to reduce the time needed to enter.
  • When operating your vehicle, keep the doors locked and the windows rolled up.
  • Drive with all the doors locked.
  • Any valuables in your car should be placed in the trunk or otherwise kept out of sight.
  • Exercise extra caution when using underground and enclosed parking garages. Try not to go alone.
  • When stopped at traffic lights or in traffic, allow space between you and the vehicle in front of you so you can drive away if necessary.
  • If someone approaches your vehicle and attempts to enter, blow your horn to attract attention and drive away.
  • Many people consider a cellular telephone to be a good investment in safety.
  • Do not pick up hitchhikers!
  • Do not open your window if someone approaches your vehicle to ask for directions, the time, etc. Keep the door locked.
  • Never leave house keys attached to car keys at service stations or parking facilities.
  • Do not stop for a stranded motorist. Instead, go to the nearest telephone booth and call the police for assistance.
  • If you have a flat tire, drive on it until you reach a safe, well-lighted and well traveled area.
  • If your vehicle becomes disabled and help is not immediately available, raise the hood of the vehicle (if you can safely do so), attach a handkerchief to the door handle, and then stay in the vehicle with the doors locked and the windows up. Activate your hazard or parking lights. If someone stops to assist you, ask them through the closed window to call the police.
  • If you can afford to have one, take a cellular telephone with you when driving.
  • Criminals sometimes stage a motor vehicle accident known as a “bump and rob.” The motorist is robbed when they exit their vehicle. If you are involved in a minor accident under suspicious circumstances, stay in your vehicle with the doors locked and the windows up and await the police. If you believe you are in possible danger, write down the license plate of the other vehicle involved in the accident and drive to a safe location to report the accident to the police.
  • If you are being followed, don’t drive home. Go to the nearest police or fire station and honk your horn. Or drive to an open gas station or other business where you can safely call the police. Don’t leave your car unless you are certain you can get inside the building safely.
  • Carry in your car a flashlight, fix-a-flat, maps, comfortable warm clothing, a portable fire extinguisher, first aid kit, empty gas can, and a white cloth to tie to door handle or antenna to signal distress.
  • If you are driving somewhere you are not familiar with, plan your route and check a map beforehand.

C. On Public Transportation:

  • Plan your trip.
  • “Call backs” are a good idea. Advise a family member, friend, or co-worker of your travel route and time. Call them when you arrive safely.
  • Have your exact fare ready before you leave home, the office, or a store.
  • Use the busiest, best-lit stop possible both to get on and get off a bus. If you must wait, stay near the attendant’s stand or in the best-lit area available.
  • Find a seat on the aisle if possible. This allows you to observe everything around you, and to avoid getting “boxed in” against the window.
  • Sit near the driver or operator, if possible, but avoid sitting right next to the door.
  • Thieves may try to snatch jewelry or personal belongings from people near the door and then exit quickly.
  • Don’t let yourself doze off, or become too engrossed in a book or mobile device. It can make you an easy target.
  • Keep your purse, shopping bag, backpack, packages, or other belongings in you lap, on your arm, or between your feet. Do not leave them on an empty seat.
  • Avoid displaying expensive watches, rings, necklaces, or other jewelry. Don’t invite trouble.
  • Be wary of noisy passengers arguing or causing a commotion. This could be staged to distract you while others are trying to steal your valuables.
  • Observe the behavior of those around you. If you feel uneasy or threatened, change your seat or alert the driver.
  • Minimize the chances of losing your property by avoiding crowded buses.

D. While Traveling:

  1. Before Leaving:
    • Have good locks on all doors and windows — and use them.
    • Make sure your home looks lived in. Leave shades and blinds in a normal position.
    • Ask a neighbor to watch your residence while your are away. Leave your vacation address and telephone number with a neighbor so you can be reached in case of an emergency.
    • Test your smoke and burglar alarms.
    • Stop all deliveries, arrange for a neighbor to pick up your mail, newspaper and packages.
    • Arrange for someone to mow your lawn, rake leaves, and maintain the yard to give the home a lived-in look. Have a neighbor place garbage cans at the curb on your normal pickup day(s) and return them after the garbage pickup is made.
    • Use timers to turn lights and a radio or television on and off at appropriate times.
    • Turn the bell or ringer on your telephone down low. If a burglar is around, he won’t be alerted to your absence by a ringing telephone.
    • If you have call forwarding on your telephone, forward your calls to a trusted friend or relative, or to your own mobile phone.
    • Don’t announce your absence on answering machines. Leave your normal message on the machine.
    • Engrave your valuables with your driver’s license number.
    • Close and lock garage doors and windows. Ask a neighbor to occasionally park in your driveway.
    • If you leave your car at home, park it as you normally would. Vehicles parked outside should be moved occasionally to appear that they are being used.
    • Consider taking valuables to a bank safety deposit box. Ask local police to place your home on their vacation check list.
  2. On the Road:
    • Never carry large amounts of cash; use travelers checks. If you must carry large sums of money, do not display it openly.
    • Keep a record of traveler’s check numbers and your credit car numbers in a safe place. Have the telephone numbers to call in case your checks or credit cards are stolen or lost.
    • Be aware of your surroundings and never advertise your plans to strangers; this includes travel routes and the amount of cash you are carrying.
    • Do not stop to offer help to a stranded motorist. Go to the nearest telephone and call for assistance.
    • If you suspect someone is following you, drive to the nearest service station, restaurant, or business and call the police or sheriff’s department. If you believe it is unsafe for you to get out of your car, sound your horn and flash your lights to draw attention.
    • If your car breaks down, raise the hood and attach a white flag to the antenna or door handle. If someone stops to help it is advisable that you stay in your locked car and ask them to call the police or a garage. If you must abandon you car, keep all passengers together.
    • Do not carry your airplane tickets or passport in open view. Be very careful with bus, train, or airplane tickets. They are as good as cash.
    • Males are advised to carry their wallets in an inside pocket or front trouser pocket. Females are advised to carry their purse under their arm.
    • Take a picture of your suitcases and keep the picture(s) with you. The picture(s) may be helpful in identifying your luggage if it is lost by an airline.
    • While traveling, be sure your luggage is locked.
    • Label each piece of luggage with your name and business address.
    • Always lock your car after entering or leaving it. Park in well-lighted areas.
    • Check the back seat before entering your car.
    • Mark your car radio and other removable car equipment with your driver’s license number.
    • Lock valuables out of sight, preferably in the trunk. Carry wallet, checkbooks, and purses with you.
    • Do not advertise that you are a tourist. Place maps and travel brochures in your glove compartment.
  3. Hotel and Motel Security:
    • If you are staying in a hotel or motel, take all of your luggage and valuables to your room.
    • Never leave money, checks, credit cards, car keys or valuables in the room. Take them with you.
    • Determine the most direct route to and from your room, to the fire escapes and elevators.
    • When occupying or leaving your room, use all auxiliary locking devices on doors and windows. (You may want to purchase a portable door lock for traveling.)
    • Keep a daily check of your belongings.
    • Place extra cash, expensive jewelry or other valuables in the hotel/motel safe.
    • Use the door viewer to identify anyone requesting entry. Open the door only if you are certain the person has a legitimate reason to enter your room. If in doubt, call the hotel/motel office.
    • Unpack and place belongings in the closet and dresser. Arrange your things so you’ll know if anything is missing.
    • Consider locking any electrical appliances (blow dryers, electric shavers, etc.) in your luggage. Suitcases should always be locked so they cannot be used to carry your property out of your room.
    • Report any lost or stolen items to the hotel/motel management and to the police.
    • Report to the management any suspicious movements in the corridors or rooms.
  4. Sight-Seeing:
    • Ask for directions at a hotel/motel on how to get to those attractions you want to visit.
    • If you are going out in an unfamiliar area, ask the hotel clerk if there are areas you should avoid.
    • Select tour guides carefully.
    • Don’t advertise you are a tourist. Don’t look lost or vulnerable. Walk with a purpose and stay alert to what’s happening around you. If you get lost, find an open business and ask for directions.
    • Only carry with you the cash you will need, and only in small denominations.
    • If older children go off separately, be sure they understand the importance of keeping track of time and returning promptly at appointed hours.
  5. Camping Tips:
    • Avoid camping alone in isolated areas.
    • Park your vehicle so it cannot be blocked by another vehicle in case of an emergency.
    • Mark all your belongings and camping equipment with your driver’s license number and keep a record of equipment.
    • Mark your tent, sleeping bags and clothing with indelible ink. Engrave your foot locker, thermos, coolers, lamps and flashlights, fishing gear,
      backpacks, grills, etc.
    • Familiarize yourself with local emergency locations and phone numbers in case of accidents.
    • Avoid leaving your camping gear (cook stove, ice chest, chairs, etc.) out in the open unattended.
    • Get to know your neighbors and help protect each other’s belongings.
    • Avoid walking alone at night.
    • Carry a spare lock so you can use storage containers available at many parks.
    • Use a chain and lock to secure propane tanks, portable generators, spare tires, bicycles, etc.
    • Always lock your camping trailer when you leave the vicinity.
    • Install a locking device on the trailer towing hitch, so your trailer cannot be towed away.
    • Report any suspicious activities and all crimes to the proper authorities.

E. For Businesses:

Businesses can take an active role in reducing criminal opportunity in and around their property by participating in a variety of crime prevention initiatives. They are important in a comprehensive business crime prevention and control program. They include:

  1. Physical Precautions:
    • Lights: Proper lighting eliminates shadows, which burglars use for cover. Light up all points of entry, including those on the roof. Leave lights on inside just as you would do at home. Install lighting at the front and back in addition to any side doors of your business.
    • Doors: As with windows, check for signs of any structural weaknesses. Use heavy and solid constructions, and material that is drill-resistant. You can also reinforce the backs of doors with crossbars. Be sure the door frames cannot easily be jimmied.
    • Locks: Secure doors, windows, skylights and other openings with the best possible locks. No lock is burglar proof, but the longer and harder a burglar finds it to break in, the more likely they simply give up or be caught. Use deadbolts and be sure to change the locks every time an employee with access to them leaves.
    • Windows: Check window frames to see if they are loose or rotting, and ensure that the windows offer visibility. Arrange merchandise so that a passerby can see into the store. The store employee needs to be able to notice dangers outside and let witnesses see trouble inside. So keep windows clear of obstructions, from stacked boxes on the floor to high shrubs beside the walkways. Covering windows with bars or grills for added protection may be necessary. Install burglar-resistant glass or use wire mesh or iron bars over all glass.
    • Safes: Reduce how much cash you have on hand after hours. If you have cash or other valuables, keep them in a safe anchored to the floor and that is in an illuminated location visible from the outside. Change the combination if staff who are familiar with it leaves. Install and use a drop safe. Limit how much cash is in the register and post signs saying that a drop safe is used and registers have only limited cash.
    • Store displays: Keep your expensive merchandise away from the windows, toward the center of the store.
    • Roof: Check ventilation system to ensure it cannot be used to gain entry.
    • Fences: Make sure that fences are high and sturdy enough so they are not too easy to breach. For some workplaces, barbed wire on top of the fence may be appropriate.
    • Alarm System: Install an alarm system. At least an alarm offers a measure of peace of mind. It is a deterrent to burglars, or forces them to get out quickly if they happen to break in. Post warnings in clear view that the business is equipped with an alarm, and train the staff to avoid false alarms.
  2. Internal Precautions:
    • Hiring: Be sure to check references and to conduct background checks on those positions involving a high level of trust.
    • Job Functions: Separate the duties of purchasing, receiving, and accounting to reduce the ability of one employee to accomplish a theft without the help of another staff member. When two or more people are involved in a particular function instead of one, they would have to collude to defraud the company.
    • Purchasing: Have the purchasing function centralized to better control and supervise it. Control purchase orders by sequentially pre numbering them, and require supporting documentation for each expense invoice. Use pre-numbered checks, so that management can track all expenditures in sequence.
    • Receiving: Create and control access to the receiving area. Use pre-numbered receiving control forms to record shipments. Count and weigh all materials and compare the results with the shipping documents. Require two people to verify each shipment received. They will keep each other in check unless they start working together to defraud the company. To help prevent this, change at least one staff member frequently.
    • Shipping: Have one employee to assemble an order and another to check and pack it to reduce theft opportunities and errors. Seal the shipping cartons. Maintain records of stock movements and conduct frequent inventories.
    • Key Control: Maintain strict control over who is issued keys allowing access and occasionally conduct an audit of the keys. Never leave office keys hanging on a nail or in the lock, where they can be “borrowed” and duplicated. Be sure to change the locks should keys be lost or believed to be compromised.
    • Cash Control: Cashiers should close the register after every transaction and be required to provide receipts to customers. Voided or under-rings and all returns should require verification. Management should conduct surprise cash counts.
    • Anyone Can Steal — To identify high-risk staff members, look for:
      • Employees living beyond their means: the money must be coming from somewhere — it could be from the company coffers.
      • Wronged employees: sometimes disgruntled employees believe they may get back at the company for grievances or perceived slights through stealing.
      • Troubled or immature employees: they may find an emotional release in antisocial behaviors such as theft.
      • Drug abusers: often find themselves under great financial pressures to maintain their habits. Again the company’s assets become attractive to help satisfy this need.
      • Rule breakers: an employee who frequently violates company policy or rules may not be trustworthy to handle merchandise or cash.
  3. Shoplifting Prevention:
    • Train employees in how to reduce opportunities for shoplifting and how to apprehend shoplifters. Businesses should work with law enforcement to teach employees what actions may signal shoplifting and the appropriate safe method to approach suspected shoplifters.
    • Design the store layout so all persons must pass by security personnel or store employees as they exit. The business may want to use an electronic article surveillance system or other inventory control device to deter shoplifting.
    • The cash register should be inaccessible to customers. It should be locked and monitored at all times. Place it near the front of the store so employees can monitor customers coming and going.
    • Dressing rooms and restrooms should be monitored at all times. Keep dressing rooms locked and limit the number of items taken in.
    • Keep the store neat and orderly. Keep displays full and orderly, so employees can see at a glance if something is missing.
    • Mirrors may be used to eliminate “blind spots” in corners that might aid shoplifters in concealing their trade.
    • Keep expensive merchandise in locked cases. Limit the number of items employees remove at any one time for customers to examine.
    • Merchandise should be kept away from store exits to prevent grab-and-run situations.
  4. Vandalism Prevention:
    • Clean up vandalism as soon as it is discovered. Replace signs, repair equipment, paint over graffiti quickly in order to not encourage additional damage. Once the graffiti is gone, use landscape designs (such as prickly shrubs or closely planted hedges), building materials (such as hard-to-mark surfaces), lighting, or fences to discourage future vandals.
    • Use simple burglary prevention methods to also help prevent vandalism. They should install and use good lighting and locking gates. Eliminate places where someone might hide, such as trees, shrubbery, stairwells, and alleys.
    • Report to the police someone vandalizing property. Remember, vandalism is a crime with both businesses and customers suffering the loss.
  5. Robbery Prevention:
    • Use Good Cash-Handling Procedures to Limit Money in Cash Register:
      • Keep as little money in the cash register as possible, especially large bills. Be sure to
        display notices at entrances and near cash registers informing the public of these
        practices.
      • Post a sign that the business may not accept large bills after a certain time. Stores can operate on very little money if you request customers to pay for their purchases with the smallest bill and the exact change. If you need any particular denomination of money, ask your customers. They can often help.
      • Use a drop safe to avoid the accumulations of large sums of money in the cash register. Put all $100, $50, and $20 bills into the drop box or floor safe when they are received. Do so publicly.
      • Tell customers the purpose of making the drop — Again to educate the public and to make the store less attractive to potential robbers, thus making robbing this business no longer worth risking imprisonment for.
      • While casing your store before a robbery, would-be robbers look into the cash register while it is open during a sale. If they see only change and small bills, they are less likely to rob the business.
      • Do not count cash in the presence of customers when clearing the register, particularly at closing time. This may provoke a spontaneous robbery, or, if repeated, will allow a potential robber to plan a robbery knowing when and how much money he can expect to take.
      • Bank deposits can be used to reduce how much cash is on hand. When transporting receipts from a business to a bank or depository, do not use obvious money bags and avoid drawing attention to the fact they are carrying money. Have someone accompany you and frequently alter your route and time of delivery.
      • Consider the use of bait money in all registers. Record the series, serial numbers and denominations of a small amount of bills and if there is a robbery, give these bills to the robber. Be sure to verify bait money regularly.
    • Give the store a look that says “We are alert.” A drowsy clerk in a messy store may invite would be robbers. To discourage the potential robber businesses should:
      • Have clerks get out from behind the counter when the store is empty.
      • Keep the store clean and uncluttered; Keep the store well stocked; and,
      • Keep active. The clerk’s activity may turn away some robbers simply because it would take too much time for them to accomplish the robbery. Robbers prefer to quickly get in and out.
    • Increase visibility. Robbers do not want to be visible from outside the business. They do not want a police officer or other witness who may be passing by to see them with a gun in their hand holding you up. So:
      • The store cash register should be located to allow a clear view for passing motorists, pedestrians, and police patrols. If there is a robbery, a store employee can note car descriptions and direction of travel.
      • Both the interior and the exterior of a business should be well illuminated to deter robbers from hiding in shadows or poorly lit areas. Poorly lit parking lots around businesses give potential robbers cover while they observe the store. It also restricts the ability of the victim to identify a getaway car. Customers will appreciate a well-lit parking area as their comfort level will increase.
      • Since most robberies occur after dark, block off areas outside where robbers could stand without being visible from inside the business. Store management should consider nighttime changes in the locations of the store signs or displays that may block the visibility of the cash register from outside the store.
      • Occasionally the store employee should look at likely places such as outdoor phone booths or cars parked either across the street or in the lot, where a potential robber could be casing the business.
    • Observe whether anyone might be watching the store or loitering; and if the person does not leave, call the police or sheriff’s department. Tell them where you are and what you see. The officer would rather check out a suspicious person than take a robbery report.
    • Give everyone a friendly greeting. A robber does not want to be identified. Robbing strangers with as little human contact as possible is safer. Look each customer directly in the eyes. Such human contact will spoil it for some would-be robbers. It decreases their element of surprise, threatens them with the possibility of being identified later and makes it difficult for them to loiter in the store.
    • Ask the customer ahead of the suspicious person, “Are you together?” This usually causes the customer to turn around and look at the person. Because robbers do not want to be identifiable, this trick may scare them off.
    • Keep a friendly eye on each customer. This has the added advantage of preventing shoplifting.
    • Pay particular attention to young males; those wearing garments that would conceal weapons, those who come in without having parked a car where you can see it and those who loiter over a trivial item, perhaps waiting for other customers to leave.
    • If you are alone with a suspicious person, leave the counter on an errand in the store and say, “I’ll be with you in a minute.”

F. Seasonal Tips:

  1. At Home:
    • Be extra cautious about locking doors and windows when you leave your house or apartment, even for a few minutes.
    • Don’t display holiday gifts where they can be seen from a window or doorway. Store gifts before you go away on a holiday trip.
    • If you go out for the evening, turn on lights and a radio or television so the house or apartment appears to be occupied.
    • If you take a holiday trip away from your home, have some interior lights activated by an automatic timer. Have a neighbor or family member watch your house, shovel new snow, pick up the mail and newspaper and park his or her motor vehicle in your driveway from time to time.
    • Participate in Operation Identification and mark your valuables with a unique identification number.
    • Be wary of strangers soliciting for charitable donations. They may attempt to take advantage of people’s generosity during the holidays. Ask for identification, how donated funds are used, if contributions are tax deductible, etc. If you aren’t satisfied with the answers, don’t give.
    • Immediately mark new gifts with an identification number and record new serial numbers.
    • Test your smoke detectors.
    • Use only fire resistant ornaments on a holiday tree and make sure electric lights are in good working order. Don’t leave the lights on overnight or when you are away from home.
    • If you have house guests, advise them of your security precautions and make sure they follow them.
    • Avoid leaving boxes from purchases (TVs, VCRs, computer, etc.) out on the curb for trash pickup.
  2. Shopping:
    • Shop before dark if possible. Possibly coordinate shopping trips with a friend. Never park in an unlit lot or area, no matter how convenient it is.
    • Lock your packages in your vehicle’s trunk. Keep you vehicle’s doors locked and windows closed.
    • Avoid carrying large amounts of cash. Pay with a check, credit card, debit card, or encrypted NFC device when possible.
    • To discourage purse-snatchers, don’t overburden yourself with packages. Have your purchases delivered whenever practical.
    • Be extra careful with purses and wallets. Carry a purse under your arm. Keep a wallet in an inside jacket pocket, not a back trouser pocket.
    • Teach children to go to a store clerk or security guard and ask for help if you become separated. They should never go into a parking lot alone.
  3. Holiday Party Safety:
    • Have non-alcoholic beverages available for party guests.
    • Serve something to eat before serving alcoholic beverages. High protein foods stay in the stomach longer and slow absorption of alcohol into the system.
    • Have alternative transportation for intoxicated persons. Don’t let guests drink and drive.
  4. Halloween Safety:
    • Children Should:
      • Cross streets only at corners, and never cross between parked cars.
      • Carry a flashlight or glow stick.
      • Walk facing oncoming traffic if there is no sidewalk.
      • Be aware of motor vehicles that may be turning into or backing out of driveways.
      • Never go into a stranger’s house.
    • Parents Should:
      • Know the route their children will be taking.
      • Make sure children are accompanied by an adult.
      • Set limits on when children should return home.
      • Consider purchasing Halloween treats other than candy. Stickers, erasers, crayons, pencils and sealed packages of raisins and dried fruits are good choices.
      • Make sure trick-or-treaters will be safe when visiting your home. Remove lawn decorations and sprinklers, toys and bicycles or anything that might obstruct your walkway. Provide a well lit outside entrance to your home. Keep family pets away from trick-or-treaters.
      • Explain to children the difference between tricks and vandalism.
      • Instruct children not to eat treats until they return home and parents have had a chance to inspect those treats.
    • Costume Safety Tips:
      • Costumes, masks, beards and wigs should be flame resistant.
      • Costumes should be light, bright and clearly visible to motorists.
      • Make-up is safer than a mask, which can obscure vision.
      • Avoid oversize and high-heeled shoes that can cause a child to trip.
      • The child’s name, address and phone number should be placed on trick-or-treat bags in case of an accident or lost child.
      • Children should carry a flashlight to easily see and be seen.
      • Treat bags should not be too large; they can obscure vision or cause a child to trip.
      • Costumes should have reflective strips.
  5. Fireworks Safety Tips:
    • Always wear safety glasses and do not wear loose clothing when using fireworks.
    • An adult should always be present and supervise the use of fireworks.
    • Since fireworks are legal in this state, purchase them from a licensed dealer only.
    • Know and follow the fireworks laws. For the City of Shreveport, these are:
      • Bottle rockets of any type, or sky rockets with sticks, are always prohibited. It is unlawful to sell, possess, or use these type of rockets.
      • Selling and/or igniting of other fireworks is only allowed from noon on June 25 through 10 PM on July 5, and noon on December 15 through 10 PM on January 1 (New Year’s Day).
      • No fireworks may be discharged/ignited/exploded from 10 PM until 8 AM. The one exception to this is that you may ignite, discharge, or explode fireworks on New Year’s Eve, from 10 PM on December 31 until 1 AM on January 1.
    • Read all labels and follow all instructions before lighting fireworks.
    • Use a “punk” — a substance that smolders when lighted to light fireworks. Punks burn without an open flame and provide a greater, safer distance between the hand and the fireworks.
    • Light only one firework at a time.
    • Have a safe landing zone for aerial fireworks. Consideration should be given to wind direction and ignitability of everything in the landing zone.
    • Have a fire extinguisher or a bucket of water on hand to extinguish an incipient fire.
    • Never use fireworks inside or in a vehicle.
    • Never ignite fireworks while holding them. Put them down, then ignite them and walk away.
    • Never confine fireworks begin ignited. Don’t put fireworks in any container to ignite.
    • Never assume an ignited firework that fails to explode is safe to approach. A delayed explosion has injured many people. Any malfunctioning fireworks should be abandoned.
    • Never use fireworks while drinking alcoholic beverages. The slowness of response and impaired judgment will cause injuries.
    • Never take fireworks apart or mix anything with their contents or make fireworks at home. The making of an explosive device is a felony, punishable by imprisonment and fine — if you survive.
    • Never ignite aerial fireworks where overhead obstructions (trees, eaves, wires, etc.) may interfere with trajectory into open air space. Never ignite aerial fireworks near an opening to a building.
    • An open garage door or window could allow aerial fireworks to fly into the structure and cause a fire.
    • Do not point or throw fireworks at other people. Do not carry fireworks in your pockets. If one happens to ignite, severe burns may result.
    • Keep fireworks in a cool dry place, and not inside the house.
    • Always keep spectators a safe distance away, at least 35′ for ground items and at least 100′ for aerial and exploding items. For fireworks novelties that move on the ground, always be alert and aim them away from spectators.
    • Never place any part of your body (especially your head) over a firework when lighting. Approach the item from the side and ignite it while keeping your body away from it.
    • Before lighting a firework, make sure it is sturdy and level. Do not place fireworks on uneven surfaces or grass. Always shoot from a hard, level surface free of debris.
    • Never attempt to relight an item that has malfunctioned or not shot. Stay clear of the firework until you’re sure it is completely out.
    • Never put devices that explode in metal or glass containers. Shrapnel can cause serious injuries.
    • Dispose of fireworks only after you are sure they are completely out. If needed, spray them down with a hose and allow them to cool overnight. Treat them much as you would fireplace/stove ashes.
  6. Boating Safety:
    • Make sure all water craft is equipped with personal flotation devices. Make sure all passengers have one and wear it. Make sure it fits properly.
    • Let family members know where you’re going and when you plan to return.
    • Know the boat’s handling characteristics. Never overload it.
    • Know your position and where you are going on the water.
    • Make sure the boat operator is properly trained and experienced.
    • Keep passengers from moving about in the boat. Make sure they are properly seated to avoid ejection.
    • Never operate a boat in a swimming area.
    • Never operate a boat under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
    • Do not use excessive speed in the vicinity of other boats or in dangerous waters.
    • Maintain a proper lookout. Pay attention to your surroundings.
    • When passengers are boarding or getting off a boat, make sure the engine is off, so the propeller isn’t rotating.
    • Never start a boat with the engine in gear.
    • When water skiing, designate someone to keep the skier in site at all times.
    • Make sure the boat is equipped with a properly working horn.
    • Know boating right-of-way and navigational rules.
    • Keep an eye out for changing weather conditions and act accordingly.
    • If someone falls out of the boat, they should remain calm and prevent excess moving. They should keep their knees bent and float on their back while paddling slowly to safety.