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June 4, 2018

Helpful tips for a safe summer
by Councilmember Kevin Hartke
With triple digit temperatures on the horizon, it is the perfect time to enjoy the pools, take advantage of indoor entertainment and plan getaways to cooler destinations. While there are plenty of opportunities to have fun during the summer months, in or out of town-, it is important to consider some safety precautions.

First and foremost, it is critical to protect our children from drowning and heat related incidents. We never say it enough; children need to be supervised around bodies of water, including swimming pools, lakes, oceans and even bath tubs or buckets of water. Children (and pets) should never be left unattended in a vehicle and they should not be exposed to the sun without proper hydration and sun protection gear. The Chandler Fire Department offers tips and resources for drowning prevention, pool fence guidelines, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training and swim lessons. Visit for details.

If traveling out of town for extended periods of time, it is important to secure homes and vehicles to help prevent acts of vandalism and burglary. Thieves tend to prey on houses vacated by travelers because they are easy to stake out and break into. The Chandler Police Department is well aware of this and offers tips and programs to assist residents.

It goes without saying that you should always lock all windows, doors and garage entries -- and don’t leave door keys outside the home (under doormats and flower pots are places thieves look first). You may be surprised how often criminals get into someone’s home or car that was left unlocked. Trim the bushes and plants around windows, doorways and gates, so those areas are clearly visible for neighbors and the police to see. A home security system and an alarm system sign in your front yard also is a good deterrent.

It is recommended you avoid advertising vacation plans on social media. If you are eager to share your photos, do so through private channels, such as email or private messaging or post them on social media when you return. However, it is a good idea to notify your neighbors (in person) that you will be on vacation. Ask them to watch your house and provide them with your contact information. In addition, notify newspaper carriers and the local post office to hold deliveries. This helps prevent items and newspapers from stacking up in your mailbox or doorway, which indicates that you may not be home. Also ask neighbors to pick up any packages that are delivered to your house during your absence. 

The Chandler Police Department also offers free services such as frequent patrol and home security surveys. The surveys include an assessment of all doors, windows, locks, lights and landscaping around your home or business. You can schedule these services by calling the Police Department at 480-782-4000 or by filling out online forms at

To protect your home from accidents while away, the Chandler Fire Department recommends checking all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and installing fresh batteries. Also, remove any potential fire hazards by unplugging non-essential electrical components. To prevent flooding and accidental drowning, shut off the water line to the house and lock gates and fences near the pool and backyard.

If you are travelling by vehicle, firefighters also recommend bringing a functioning fire extinguisher and extra water on the trip. Have the vehicle inspected and serviced prior to leaving to avoid being stranded in the desert heat.

If you have children or teenagers out of school this summer, please make sure they are supervised and engaged in fun and productive ways. The City of Chandler and many private and non-profit agencies offer outstanding and affordable summer programs. Visit for information.

Regardless of your summer vacation plans, I hope you create some great memories. Enjoy, have fun, and stay safe!