Think safety this holiday

It’s a message that we touch on frequently in this space, but one that bears repeating: with holiday festivities ramping up, please, be safe out there.

Let’s start with our roads. The summer visitor season is in full swing — as is the summer construction season — and our roads are crammed. And with the pleasant streak of weather we’ve been having, there’s also plenty of folks out walking, running and bicycling.

Now is the time to take a deep breath before getting behind the wheel. Give yourself a few extra minutes to get to your destination — you’re going to need it. Put away the cell phone or anything else that distracts your attention — you’re going to need that, too. A little courtesy goes a long way.

And, if you’ve been drinking, whatever you do, don’t drive. Stay the night, call a cab, designate a driver.

That advice goes for those venturing out on the water, as well. Operating a boat under the influence is just as dangerous as driving under the influence, if not more so. Make sure other safety precautions are followed too — check your equipment before you depart. Marine radios and personal flotation devices don’t do a whole lot of good if they’re not functioning or left at home.

For everyone celebrating Independence Day with a campfire or barbecue, remember, while the fire risk has been downgraded to moderate on the Kenai Peninsula and the burn suspension has been lifted, it’s still important to use common sense. Before roasting hot dogs and toasting marshmallows, make sure your fire is built in a proper fire ring and in an area cleared of other flammable material. Have an adequate water supply to completely extinguish a fire, and never leave it unattended.

One last note: a reminder that fireworks are illegal here on the Kenai Peninsula. As exciting as they may be, fireworks pose a severe injury risk as well as a fire risk.

Independence Day is a wonderful time to celebrate all the things that make living here great. Let’s all do our part to make sure tragedy doesn’t spoil the fun.

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