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This weekend marks the unofficial kick off to summer. As such, the Sacramento Fire Department (SFD) is urging citizens to play it safe near waterways, swimming pools and other standing water.

“As the weather begins to heat up, we see an increase in calls related to water emergencies,” said Lloyd Ogan, acting fire chief. “Far too often, we receive calls related to drowning or near downing incidents. We want people to enjoy the water safely and use life jackets and other precautions to keep safe.”

Life jackets are proven to help prevent drowning and the SFD encourages anyone that enters the water to wear a life jacket. Additionally, anyone under the age of 13 is required to wear a life jacket.

Many fire stations throughout the region offer life jackets on a loan basis. They are available for children and adults and can be borrowed for the day or weekend by simply completing a loan form. Residents can borrow life jackets from the Sacramento Fire Department at the following fire stations:

  • Station 1 – 624 Q Street
  • Station 5 – 731 Broadway
  • Station 8 – 5990 H Street
  • Station 11 – 785 Florin Road
  • Station 15 – 1591 Newborough Drive
  • Station 60 – 3301 Julliard Drive

In addition to wearing a life jacket, the Sacramento Fire Department offers these water safety tips:

  • Never swim alone and never go in the water after drinking alcohol.
  • Stay within arm’s length of inexperienced swimmers.
  • Always watch children in and around water. Assign a water watcher. Don’t assume someone else is watching. Drowning is quick and silent, it can happen in seconds.
  • Drain inflatable pools and coolers after each use. A toddler can drown in just one inch of water.
  • Call 911 right away if someone is in trouble.

For more safety information, visit the Sacramento Fire Department website at www.sacfire.org.