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Safety message: It’s that time again

PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- Since many of us may not be here next Friday due to the Independence Day holiday, we decided to jump the gun" a bit and talk about the importance of doing things the right way, both on- and off-duty.

And by that, we mean safely.

As we continue our "101 Critical Days of Summer Campaign," it's important that each of us take the "safety lessons learned" seriously. There's an old saying that goes something like this, "you can lie with statistics, but statistics never lie."

Traditionally, the July 4th weekend is one of the busiest and most dangerous of the year. I'm sure you have read the same stories and seen the same pictures and videos - year after year - of the "fireworks" show that went bad. Sometimes very bad.

And it's not just our Airmen who are at risk. Studies show one out of every three people injured were children less than 15 years of age.

The bottom line is this: The safest way to prevent fireworks-related injuries is to leave the "big fireworks" displays to trained professionals.

It's as simple as that.

Another area of concern given the long weekend is traveling long distances in a relatively short time.

As always, please give yourself enough time to arrive safely at your destination and back home...safely. Whether it's the requisite start-up time, getting your vehicle checked out BEFORE you start driving, or developing a "road plan" that allows enough rest time, the key is to be prepared.

Water safety. Living a short walk or drive from the beach is certainly a blessing, but it comes with a measure of responsibility. Please stay on the look-out for rip tides, ensure young children are well supervised (accidents happen in the blink of an eye), and don't forget the sunscreen!

We appreciate all you do. If we don't see you before the holiday, please be safe and enjoy the birth of our great nation.