Summer safety
Participants in a motorcycle safety ride from the Marine Corps War Memorial just outside of Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall to the National Museum of the Marine Corps, gather around Lt. Devon H Foster, chaplain, to bless the bikes and start the ride with a prayer, May 3, 2013. Both Marines and soldiers took part in the ride.

JOINT BASE MYER-HENDERSON HALL, Va. - During the summer months, it is important to take extra measures to step up our safety awareness.

"During warmer weather, people are more active, participating more in sports and recreational activities. More accidents happen during this time of year," said Leroy Brown, chief of safety on Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall.

Brown said during the "101 Critical Days of Summer," the military's safety campaign which runs from Memorial Day through Labor Day, everyone is encouraged to step up safety measures to decrease the potential for accidents.

Brown recently addressed summer safety at the JBM-HH town hall meeting. "I focused on heat injuries, water safety and privately owned vehicle and motorcycle safety," said Brown. "I talked briefly about tick- and mosquito-born diseases, and also about barbequing safety."

He said the Army is increasing motorcycle safety concerns, as well as privately owned vehicle safety.

"There has been an increase in motorcycle accidents among servicemembers. Most motorcyclists ride their bikes more during the summer season and may not be as accustomed to riding again when first moving their bikes from the garage and preparing for more frequent riding," said Brown. "Never drive your motorcycle after drinking. Alcohol greatly impairs your ability to safely operate a motorcycle. If you have been drinking, get a ride home or call a taxi."

He also said motorcyclists should wear an approved helmet and high visibility, protective clothing. Avoid tailgating and riding between lanes. Maintain a safe speed and exercise caution when traveling over slippery surfaces or gravel.

Brown said people travel more in the summer months and need to increase POV safety. "Do not drink and drive; use a designated driver; wear seat belts; obey the speed limit; don't drive when you're tired, and take rest breaks," said Brown. "Adjust speed for conditions, don't follow too close, maintain your vehicle, drive defensively and avoid using cell phones while driving."

Brown said water and boating safety is another major concern because "a lot of people have recreational boats and jet skis and enjoy recreational time at beaches and lakes.

"It is imperative everyone apply water safety rules and regulations when they're out on the water. Don't drink alcohol and operate boats, don't drink and swim, maintain safe distances from other water craft and people and be cognizant of where your children are when you're around water," he said.

The safety chief also emphasized the swimming off limits zones for military members. "The Armed Forces Disciplinary Control Board has placed the Potomac River/Great Falls area off limits to all military personnel. The area along the Potomac River that extends from Sycamore Island to Chain Bridge is off limits due to strong undertow currents in this area," said Brown. He provided a map of the area at www.army.mil/article/44615/safety-reminder--off-limits-zones-for-military-personnel.

The summer season is the time of year when the potential increases for heat injuries. "Drink plenty of water; avoid heavy meals at lunch time; maintain a well balanced diet; wear appropriate clothing; use sunscreen and follow recommended work/rest cycles," Brown said.

"By following common sense safety rules and exercising caution, summer can be an enjoyable season without injuries and accidents."

For more summer safety advice, go to https://safety.army.mil/ or contact the JBM-HH Safety Office at 703-696-0828/6996.

Page last updated Mon May 20th, 2013 at 13:35