July 4th: Drive Safely, Stay Hydrated and Leave Fireworks to the Professionals

The Arlington Police and Fire departments encourage the public to make smart decisions behind the wheel, stay hydrated and leave the fireworks displays to the professionals while celebrating Independence Day next week.

Arlington Police offer these reminders:

  • Don’t drink and drive. Designate a driver who will stay sober. Give them your keys or call a taxi.
  • If you encounter a drunk driver, call 9-1-1.
  • Put the phone down. Don’t text and drive.
  • Observe posted speed limits, especially in neighborhoods and around parks.
  • Avoid drivers who are noticeably agitated or driving aggressively.

Those who are traveling to 4th of July events, such as Light Up Arlington in Downtown, are also reminded to buckle up. State law requires every occupant of a vehicle to wear a seatbelt, including those in the back seat. Children younger than 8 years old must be in a child safety seat or booster. Also allow plenty of time to get to your destination safely.

A  fun day under the hot Texas sun can tire you out quickly. Make sure to stay hydrated and keep plenty of water on hand whether you are enjoying the day at the 4th of July parade in Downtown, at a city swimming pool or at Globe Life Park in Arlington.

Planning to enjoy a day at scenic Lake Arlington? Alcohol and boating are a dangerous combination. Alcohol contributes to boat operator errors and drowning. Boating passengers and skiers are reminded to wear life jackets.

The Arlington Fire Department wants you to leave the fireworks to the professionals. Fireworks are illegal in the City of Arlington. By ordinance, the possession, manufacture, storage, sale, handling and use of fireworks are prohibited and violations can result in a fine up to $2,000. Grass and structure fires as well as personal injury are common results of illegal fireworks use.

To make a report of illegal use of fireworks, please call the City’s Non-Emergency line at  817-274-4444. This will ensure 9-1-1 remains available for life-threatening situations.

If you’re a fan of fireworks, make plans to attend Light Up Arlington on Tuesday, July 3 for a dazzling, 20-minute display, which will begin at 9:45 p.m.

“We want everyone to put safety first and enjoy a fun and memorable Independence Day in The American Dream City,” Police spokesman Lt. Christopher Cook said.

July 4th plans should also include mosquito prevention.

With outdoor activities on the holiday calendar for millions of Texans next week, the Texas Department of State Health Services is reminding everyone to protect themselves from mosquito bites and the diseases they can bring.

The best thing people can do to protect themselves and their families from mosquito-borne diseases like West Nile and Zika is to use insect repellent every time they’re outside. Plus, recent rains across the state mean it’s an important time to dump out standing water around homes and businesses so mosquitoes can’t lay eggs.

Several types of mosquitoes that can transmit disease thrive in Texas. Zika remains a serious threat because it can cause birth defects if women are infected during pregnancy, and West Nile can sicken hundreds of people a year in Texas, resulting in more than 3,500 illnesses and 167 deaths over the last 10 years.

Routine mosquito surveillance has detected West Nile activity this year in the Houston, Dallas/Fort Worth, El Paso and Beaumont areas. The state has reported three Zika cases, all acquired while Texas residents were visiting other countries where Zika is being spread.

Some simple steps at home and while traveling will help people protect themselves and their communities from illnesses transmitted by mosquitoes:

  • Regularly apply EPA-registered insect repellent while outdoors.
  • Dump out all standing water inside and outside homes and businesses; scrub outdoor containers to dislodge mosquito eggs.
  • Use air conditioning or make sure window and door screens are in good repair.
  • Cover up with long sleeves and long pants to help prevent bites.

 

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