Safety is about awareness and follow-through

In this edition, we present the second in our new series on safety, written by City of Houston Fire Chief Christian M. Hartley. He brings wisdom from years of experience working in safety and emergency management and this month he writes about being safe while enjoying the summer outdoors.

Let’s face it, regardless of age, there are always new surprises and lessons to be learned.

Earlier this month, I was heading out for a bicycle ride and realized at the last moment I’d forgotten my water bottle. Too rushed (or lazy), I told myself I’d be fine without it. This was going to be just a half hour or so—I wasn’t going to die from dehydration.

I would soon regret the decision. Cycling fast, a bug flew into my open mouth and down my throat. I gagged, coughed and sputtered and, though I was OK, it sure would have been nice to have a few swallows of soothing water. Then I started ticking off other needs I’ve had for water: to clean off a scrape after taking a spill. To rinse fingers after fiddling with the chain. To wash my glasses. To offer a drink to someone else in need.

Next time, I will take that extra minute or two for preparedness. Read Christian’s story for reminders on other ways to reduce risks of accidents or injuries, and best enjoy the summer.

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