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Be Prepared for Safe Summertime Fun

The recent tragic boating accident in Florida involving football players Marquis Cooper and Corey Smith, together with William Bleakley and Nick Schuyler, serves as a reminder to all to be prepared for safety as we head outside to enjoy the sun and warm temperatures.

If boating or fishing are in your summer recreation plans, the U.S. Coast Guard's website at http://www.uscgboating.org/ can lead you to publications and information on boating safety, vessel safety procedures, carbon monoxide dangers, and the risks involved with boating under the influence. Boating safety courses are offered throughout the country, and cover such topics as boat handling, reading the weather, water and kids, and electronic navigation skills. At a minimum always have enough life vests for all occupants on board the boat, be aware of the weather conditions and boating while intoxicated is not a wise decision.

If a trip to Mexico is in your plans, it is a good idea not to travel alone. Also, leave your itinerary with someone at home, ensure that you will have cell phone coverage and once in Mexico keep the flashy jewelry and other valuables to a minimum. Mexico has historically been a top vacation destination for spring break or summer travel. The U.S. Department of States' Travel Alert issued March 16, 2009 warns that violence in Mexico has increased recently, particularly near the U.S. border. The Travel Alert urges U.S. citizens traveling in Mexico to exercise caution and to be aware of their surroundings at all times. For more details on staying safe in Mexico, visit the State Department's website at http://travel.state.gov/.

With the warmer weather, we often crack a few windows to enjoy the warm summer breeze. According to FBI statistics, a house, apartment or condominium is burglarized once every 15 seconds. In warm weather, homeowners may leave windows and garage doors open for ventilation by the fresh spring air. This provides a perfect opportunity for a thief who happens to walk or drive by, as the average burglar will spend no more than four or five minutes breaking into a residence. If you are going to ventilate the garage, make your presence known in the area. Also, have a clear view out of any window that you open. Of course, contact the authorities if you see anything suspicious.

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