Summer is here and for many residents, much time will be spent outside.  Here are some summer safety tips to help keep yourself and your family safe while enjoying the season.  Donít let an accident caused by carelessness ruin your outdoor fun.



 



Fireworks



Florida law, only sparklers approved by the Division of State Fire Marshal, are legal for consumer usage anytime of the year. Sparklers should bear the wording "emits a fountain or shower of sparks." Aerial devices are prohibited. A good rule of thumb is if it flies or explodes, it is not legal in Florida. Using illegal fireworks is a first-degree misdemeanor, and is a crime punishable by a $1,000 fine and up to one year in jail.



 



The safest way to enjoy fireworks with your family is to participate in one of the public fireworks displays offered throughout Santa Rosa County.  Local displays include:



Santa Rosa County Tourist Development & Navarre Beach Area Chamber Foundation, Thursday, July 4, the fireworks will originate from the Black Skimmer Pavilion parking lot in the county park on Navarre Beach. The fireworks will begin at dusk and will be visible from many sound and gulf side locations.



Town of Jay, Thursday, July 4, at the Bray-Hendrix Park, 5213 Booker Lane at dusk.



Riverfest, Thursday, July 4, Downtown Milton at dark over the Blackwater River.



Southern Raceway, 9359 Nichols Lake Road in Milton, Saturday, June 29 at 9 p.m. Alternate rain date is Saturday, July 6.  Admission is required.



 



Grilling



Whether you are using a propane or charcoal grill, consider following these safety tips from Underwriter Laboratories:



Position your grill a safe distance from your house or any building



Never use a grill in a garage, any balcony, breezeway, carport, porch, under an awning or overhang



Always have a spray bottle and a fire extinguisher handy



Gas Grills:



o   Check the hoses on your gas grill for any cracking and brittleness to address potential leaks



o   Drip soapy water over the hoses and around the fittings. Any bubbles forming means there is a propane leak



o   Never start a gas grill with the lid closed



∑                  Charcoal Grills



o   Never use gasoline or kerosene to light a charcoal fire. Both can cause an explosion



o   Dispose of charcoal away from kids and pets, and cool it down with a hose. Coals get HOT Ė up to 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit



o   Have a designated area for dumping hot coals and cool down with a hose



Insects



Spending recreational time outdoors means you will encounter insects such as mosquitoes or flies. If you plan on using insect-repelling citronella candles or tiki torches, please keep in mind:



When using tiki torches or outdoor candles, never leave them unattended.



Keep a fire extinguisher nearby. In the event of a fire, never use water to extinguish the flames as water will spread the fuel.



Santa Rosa County Mosquito Services encourages all residents to follow the four Dí regarding mosquitoes.



DUSK to DAWN - is the timeframe when mosquitoes are most active. Reduce or eliminate outdoor activity between dusk and dawn or take precautions to prevent mosquito bites.



DRAIN - standing water. Water found in old tires, flowerpots, clogged rain gutters, leaky pipes and faucets, birdbaths and wading pools can be breeding sites for mosquitoes.



DRESS - in light colored, long sleeves and pants when you are outside, especially in mosquito infested areas.



DEET (N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide) - if you are going to be outside when mosquitoes are most active, make sure you apply insect repellant that contains DEET. Read and follow label instructions. Spray both exposed skin and clothing with repellent when outdoors.



Santa Rosa Countyís Mosquito Control publishes a weekly spray schedule at www.santarosa.fl.gov/mosquito/