Walsh administration offers tips to residents on enjoying the summer months safely
June 30, 2014
Today Mayor Martin J. Walsh and several of his cabinet and department heads highlighted the cross-departmental measures the City of Boston is taking to keep residents and visitors safe this summer. From targeted police presence to proper grill and fire work safety, cooling centers for beating the heat and activities in Boston parks and community centers, Mayor Walsh and his team are taking steps to ensure residents have a safe and healthy summer. Visit the City of Boston’s website for full program information this summer: www.cityofboston.gov/heat.
- As the City of Boston enters the summer, compared to 2013 at this time shootings are down 37% and violent crime is down 13%. Since the start of this year, the 2014 Gun Buy Back Program has collected 344 guns. Independent of the Gun Buy Back Program, the Boston Police Department (BPD) has retrieved 347 crime guns, including 295 handguns, 25 rifles, and 27 shotguns.
- This summer, BPD’s 56 newest recruits will be part of increased police presence in Districts B-2 (Roxbury), B-3 (Mattapan), and C-11 (Dorchester), areas of the city that have been identified as crime hotspots. In addition, a new bike unit of 50 officers are assigned to patrol the area.
- Several kids programs offered by BPD are getting underway. The Junior Police Academy is a week-long program that introduces participants to the various operational components of BPD, such as a visit to Police Headquarters for tours of the Identification and Ballistics Unit, and trips to the Police Academy, Range, and Harbor Patrol.
- All types of fireworks are illegal and not allowed in Boston, as throughout Massachusetts.
- Sparklers, which burn at over 1100 degrees, firecrackers and other hand-held fireworks can cause permanent injuries, especially with young children.
Outdoor Fires and Grilling:
- No outdoor fires are allowed in Boston, including fire pits, chimineas and bonfires.
- Charcoal grills must be on the ground and away from buildings. Keep in mind the wind and never leave unattended. When done, dispose of the ash in a metal container once completely out.
- Propane tank grills are only allowed on first floor porches with steps to the ground. Do not place propane tank grills near air conditioners or up against a building. Make sure all connections are tight and never carry propane tanks into a home.
- Windows should always be opened from the top. Anything a child can climb on – beds, furniture, toy chests – should be kept away from windows to prevent unintentional falls. Children should always be supervised.
- Homes with children under the age of seven should have window guards installed on windows above the first floor. Many local hardware and home improvement stores carry window guards. Boston residents can buy subsidized window guards at Boston Building Resources (www.bostonbuildingresources.com).
Water and Swimming Safety:
- For protection against the harmful rays of the sun, adults and children should use sunscreen containing an SPF-15 or higher and wear protective, loose fitting clothing, including long sleeve shirts and hats.
- Children and adults should NEVER swim alone. Young children should always be within an adults arm’s reach when swimming.
- Alcohol should be avoided when playing water sports or when boating. Its effects can be heightened in the heat. Remember to drink lots of water and avoid dehydration.
- Never underestimate the seriousness of heat-related emergencies. The elderly, young children, and those with chronic medical conditions are more susceptible to the effects of heat. Always check in on family or neighbors who may be at risk heat exhaustion or heat stroke as temperatures climb.
- Children and pets should never be left alone in vehicle, for even short periods of times.
- If you become lightheaded, confused, weak, or faint, stop all activity and immediately find shade or a cool area to rest. If symptoms persist, call 911 immediately.
- Try to limit your outdoor activity to morning and evening hours. Rest often in shady areas so that your body can cool itself.
- Drink plenty of fluids, making sure to avoid alcoholic beverages and liquids high in sugar or caffeine. During hot weather, increase your fluid intake, regardless of your activity level.
- The homeless can become dehydrated rapidly due to a lack of access to water or shelter from the heat. If you observe someone who appears in distress, please contact 911 immediately.
- The City of Boston will declare a Heat Emergency after temperatures have reached 90 degrees or higher for three or more consecutive days. During a Heat Emergency, cooling centers will be open across the City.
- Residents can sign up for Alert Boston, the city's emergency notification system, to receive emergency alerts on by phone, email, or text. Sign up online: http://www.cityofboston.gov/oem/alertboston.asp.
Boston Centers for Youth & Families (BCYF) Summer Programs:
- BCYF offers a variety of summer day camps and programs at their community centers (www.cityofboston.gov/BCYF/centers/). BCYF will also operate free weekday summer programs for youth at 13 locations throughout the city with a flexible schedule to make it convenient for parents and young people. Visit the BCYF summer website for the most up-to-date information: www.cityofboston.gov/BCYF/programs/summer.asp. Programs include:
- Our Summer Girls Initiative includes several events for girls culminating in the annual Girls Leadership Summit in August.
- Teen Nights from 7:30 to 11:00 p.m. at select community centers
- Super Fun Stops from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. at three park-based Fun Stop sites.
- Over 20 tournaments, leagues and special sport activities, including the renowned Boston Neighborhood Basketball League, the White Stadium Sports Center, and six Mayor's Cup tournaments.
- Every Thursday night in July and August from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m., BCYF will host a Neighborhood Block Party at a different BCYF center or pool with a free cookout, activities and lots more.
Boston Parks Department Summer Programs:
- The Boston Parks Department hosts participatory and performing arts events through the ParkArts program during the summer months. Programs include music concerts, movie nights, a marionette puppet series, watercolor painting workshops, and craft workshops. In addition, the Boston Parks Department, in partnership with the Boston Public Health Commission, are hosting free fitness activities in parks citywide, including yoga, boot camp, tai chi, zumba and more. For a list of these events please visit www.cityofboston.gov/parks.