Summer safety tips from the 97th AMW ground safety office

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Klynne Pearl Serrano
  • 97th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs
Summer is here and the weather is becoming warmer at Altus. With warm weather comes more outdoor activities. The 97th Air Mobility Wing ground safety office reminds Airmen and their families to keep risk management in mind when venturing outdoors for sports, recreation and other summer festivities.

"Statistically, most off-duty mishaps take place during the summer months," said Senior Airman Christopher Huffer, 97th AMW ground safety technician. "During the summer, more people are outdoors, doing sports and travelling. There's a lot more potential for mishaps."

Huffer highlighted some of the safety office's more common safety concerns during the warm summer months.

"Motorcycles and driving in general are probably our biggest concerns," Huffer said. "Watch your speed, watch for other vehicles and more importantly watch for animals. Most of the roads and highways around here are just straight, which makes it easy to go over the speed limit."

When driving long distances, it is important to get ample rest.

"Living in Altus, we're a good 45 minutes away from the nearest city," Huffer said. "Keep in mind how long you plan to stay in that city. You may be well rested on your way there, but you still have to make the drive back to Altus. If you feel too tired or sleepy, stop at a hotel and sleep if you have to. It makes a world of a difference."

According to the Air Force Safety Center's Annual Report for fiscal year 2012, among active duty members, sports and recreation is the second leading category, followed by collisions and slips, trips and falls under Class C/D for ground mishaps. Maintaining personal awareness and appropriate warm up and stretching will help reduce these injuries.

"Remember to hydrate and know your body's limits," Huffer said.

With the Fourth of July coming up, it is important to know and abide by city and county fireworks rules and regulations. Fireworks are prohibited on base and within the Altus city limits.

According to the City of Altus Ordinance No. 2006-07, it shall be unlawful and an offense for any person to use pyrotechnic special effects inside the city limits without prior approval by obtaining a permit issued by the Fire Chief, or his designee.

Firework stands that are up are considered to be outside the city limits. In order to light fireworks, people are to do it outside the Altus city limits and obtain the landowners' permission to light fireworks on their property, according to the City of Altus Fire Marshall.
Sparklers, however, are OK to light within the city limits with great care.

"Make sure to have water and a fire extinguisher on hand when dealing with fireworks," Huffer said. "Also, do not leave children with sparklers unattended."

Almost half-way through the 101 Critical Days of Summer campaign, the Altus AFB ground safety office would like to remind Airmen and their families this year's theme, "Safe and Sound."

"We want people to enjoy themselves--and to make it home 'safe and sound,'" Huffer said. "Please keep risk management in mind."

For more summer safety tips, call the 97th AMW ground safety office at 481-SAFE (7233).