Sheriff

Safety Tips

The following tips are provided to assist you in keeping your home and family safe while at home or at play.

Fire Safety Tips

During the summer months the common drought conditions can create conditions that could make for a dangerous fire season. The following tips are provided to assist in keeping homes and surroundings safe from fire.

Camping and Picnicking

  • Check the area you are headed to for fire/smoking restrictions before you leave.
  • Areas may be restricted to fires in established campgrounds, if so, no open fires are allowed.
  • Be sure all fires are out before you leave them, by dousing with water and stirring to be sure all embers are out.

Home Safety

  • Thin trees and brush around your home.
  • Remove trash and debris from around all structures.
  • Clear roofs and gutters of leaves and other debris.
  • Remove branches overhanging structures.
  • Stack firewood uphill and away from structures.
  • Clear vegetation around fire hydrants, cisterns, propane tanks, etc.
  • Make sure an outdoor water supply is available (with a hose and nozzle)
  • Post address signs clearly visible from the road.
  • Install and test smoke detectors regularly.
  • Practice a family fire drill and evacuation plan.

Monsoon Season Safety Tips

A Monsoon is caused by a combination of heat and moisture.  Arizona averages over 50 monsoon days each year

and normally occur in July and August.  Monsoon storms can range from minor dust storms to violent thunderstorms carrying heavy winds, dry lightening and/or high volume rain.  These storms can cause flash floods that are potentially deadly.  If you are caught outdoors during a monsoon storm here are some safety tips:

  • All caution signs should be observed and respected. Even if water is rushing across the road or wash looks shallow, it may be very well so deep that even high clearance vehicle will get stuck or washed downstream requiring emergency intervention.
  • If driving, slow down and never use your cruise control during a rainstorm. If your vehicle hydroplanes, the cruise control may try to accelerate while the vehicle has uneven traction causing you to lose control.
  • To avoid being struck by lightening stay away from open fields, high land, trees, poles, other tall objects and standing bodies of water, including swimming pools. Stay in your home or vehicle if possible.
  • Do not huddle closely together, spread out.
  • Be aware of flash floods.
  • Take all road signage seriously, especially "Do not Enter When Flooded".

Vacation Safety Tips

Preparing for a family vacation takes a lot of planning; for instance choosing the right vacation location, the type of accommodations, length of the trip, mode of transportation, etc.  Along with planning a vacation itinerary there should also be plans for the safety of your home and property to decrease the chances of a crime occurring in your absence. The following are some helpful hints that hopefully make your vacation less stressful:

Before leaving home

  • Leave your vacation itinerary with a responsible person.
  • Keep your shades, blinds, and curtains in their normal positions.
  • Put your mail and newspaper publications on vacation hold.
  • Place timers on several lights throughout your residence.  The timers should be programmed to turn on and off at appropriate times, this will give the appearance that someone is at home.
  • Make sure all door and window locks are in working order. Activate your home alarm if you have one.

Packing for Prevention

  • Clean out your wallet or purse before you go. Take only essential credit cards. Plan to use credit cards or traveler’s checks instead of cash whenever possible.
  • Carry your purse close to your body, or your wallet in your front pants pocket.
  • Pack as lightly as possible. Lots of heavy, cumbersome bags will slow you down and make you more vulnerable to being robbed.

Upon Arrival

  • Don’t display expensive jewelry, cameras, bags and other items that might draw attention. Keep a low profile.
  • Check maps before you go out. Be familiar with the area so you may tour confidently.
  • It is always best to travel on well-lit and well-traveled paths – avoid shortcuts.

Boating Safety Tips

Pre-Departure Checklist

Before taking off in your watercraft it’s always a good idea to perform a pre-departure check of the boat and equipment, similar to a pre-flight plan used by aircraft. Use this checklist to make sure your time on the watercraft is a trouble free and possible and to maximize your pleasure and enjoyment while underway.

  • Complete and leave your float plan with a responsible person.
  • Make sure that the steering and throttle controls are operating properly and all lights are working properly.
  • Check for fuel leaks from the tank, fuel lines and carburetor.  Replace parts immediately if they are hard and brittle, cracked, soft and mushy or swollen with marine grade fuel.  Never use automobile parts on a watercraft.
  • Check hose and connections for leaks and cracks. Make sure hose clamps are tight.
  • Drain all water from the engine compartment and be sure the bilge plug is replaced and secure.
  • Check to be sure the fire extinguishers are fully charged.
  • Make sure the stop button works on all personal watercraft.
  • Make sure the ignition safety switch and wrist lanyard are in working order.
  • Make sure you have the required number of personal flotation devices (life jackets) and that they are in good condition and easily accessible.

Boating Theft Prevention

Theft of watercraft, boat trailers, motors and boating/fishing equipment is an ongoing problem year round. Here are some things you can do to deter or prevent your property from being stolen: 

  • Store your vessel so that it is not easily accessed. If possible store it in a locked garage or storage area.
  • If possible, park another vehicle in front if it and lock it or chain it to a fixed object in a well-lit area. Give the same attention to the motor and fuel tanks.
  • If the watercraft is moored secure it to the dock with a steel cable and lock.
  • Lock the trailer hitch with a quality device.
  • If the trailer is going to be stored for an extended period of time consider removing one wheel.
  • Engrave all equipment with an identifier that is familiar to you such as a DL # or other personal number and include your state abbreviation.
  • Photograph or videotape all of the interior and exterior of your watercraft.
  • Make a complete listing/inventory of all your equipment including manufacturer, make, model, year and color of boat and trailer.
  • Remove expensive electronics and other valuables.
  • Cover your vessel and remove your keys.
  • In the event of a theft, report it immediately.