News from the desk of Sheriff Potter

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"Sheriff Potter's 4th of July Safety Tips"


As we prepare to honor and celebrate the 4th of July, a day marking our nation’s independence, as your Sheriff I feel it is essential to focus on safety to ensure the festivities remain joyful for everyone. The 4th of July is a time for family gatherings, fireworks, barbeques and community events. While we embrace the spirit of freedom and fun, let’s also commit to making this holiday safe for ourselves, our loved ones and our neighbors.
 
DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE
The 4th of July is often celebrated with festive drinks, but it’s crucial to make smart choices regarding alcohol consumption:
  • Designate a Driver: Before the fun begins, choose a sober designated driver who will refrain from alcohol.
  • Use Ride-Sharing Services: Services like Uber and Lyft are excellent alternatives if you don’t have a designated driver.
  • Stay Overnight: If you are attending a party, consider staying overnight rather than driving home. Make arrangements beforehand.
  • Plan Ahead: Know your transportation options before you start drinking. Have a backup plan in case your original plan falls through.
  • Look Out for Friends: If you see someone who is about to drive after drinking, intervene. Help them find a safe way to get home.
 
FIREWORKS SAFETY
Fireworks have become a major part of 4th of July celebrations, but they can also pose significant risks if not handled properly. Here are some critical tips to follow:
  • Purchase Legal Fireworks: Only buy fireworks from licensed sellers. Illegal fireworks can be more dangerous due to lack of quality control.
  • Follow Local Laws: Ensure you comply with our local ordinances regarding fireworks.
  • Supervision is Key: Always have a responsible adult supervise any fireworks activity. Children should not handle fireworks.
  • Safe Distance: Light fireworks one at a time and move back quickly to a safe distance. Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
 
GRILLING AND BARBECUE SAFETY
  • Inspect Your Grill: Check your grill for gas leaks if you are using a gas grill. For charcoal grills, ensure you have the necessary tools to handle hot coals safely.
  • Supervise the Grill: Never leave the grill unattended. Keep children and pets away from the grilling area.
  • Proper Handling: Use long-handled utensils to avoid burns and keep a fire extinguisher nearby in case of emergency.
 
We can assure you our dedicated deputies will be conducting enforcement throughout the county on this festive day. Remember, if you see something suspicious, SAY SOMETHING. Do not hesitate to call us through our non-emergency line at 863-993-4700.
 
The 4th of July is a cherished time to celebrate our freedom and spend time with loved ones. By taking these safety precautions to heart, we can ensure our Independence Day celebrations are not only fun but also safe for everyone involved. Let’s work together to make this 4th of July a memorable and incident-free holiday.
 
Be Kind, Be Safe, God Bless.

Sheriff James Potter