Paul Januszewski, Fire Chief
North Haven, CT 06473
For Immediate Release
Tuesday, June 7, 2016
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
North Haven Fire Department Offers Water Safety Tips
NORTH HAVEN – As summer vacation approaches, Chief Paul Januszewski and the North Haven Fire Department are reminding the community to be safe while visiting public and private pools and to monitor swimming conditions at Wharton Brook State Park by visiting the DEEP website.
Wharton Brook State Park, located on the Wallingford/North Haven town line, is a popular destination for swimming and fishing. The Quinnipiac River, which is increasing in popularity due to a resurgence in water quality, is frequently used for canoeing and kayaking. The water, however, is subject to tidal conditions and swimming is at your own risk.
“It’s imperative that both community residents and visitors remain vigilant to fishing and swimming restrictions that can change daily,” said Chief Januszewski. “It is often safest to swim in public and private pools, and remember to follow all safety regulations in those places.”
The American Canoe Association offers the following safety tips to kayakers, paddlers, and recreational boaters:
- Always wear a life jacket.
- Children under the age of 12 must wear a life jacket in a public body of water at all times.
- Be a competent swimmer with the ability to handle oneself underwater, moving water, surf or current.
- Keep the craft under control. Do not enter a rapid unless you are reasonably sure you can navigate it or swim the entire rapid in case you capsize.
- Keep a lookout for hazards and avoid them. Watch for fog, especially on coastal waters.
- Know your emotional and physical limitations.
- Group members need to constantly assess the behavior of others in their group.
Wharton Brook State Park, located directly off of Route 5, contains a medium-sized lake conducive to swimming and fishing. The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection offers the following guidelines for swimming outdoors at a state park:
- Drink responsibly. Excessive alcohol consumption impairs judgment and reaction ability. Even prescription drugs may impair judgment.
- Always watch children in the water.
- Be aware of underwater hazards. Natural swimming areas can have sudden drop-offs, inshore holes, large rocks or tree roots that can’t be easily seen from the surface.
- Take a swimming lesson. Increasing your water safety knowledge and swimming skills can help save your life. People of all ages should consider signing up for a swimming class offered at your local YMCA branch, American Red Cross Chapter, or municipal parks & recreation department.
For those with their own pools, North Haven Fire suggests that the community follow safety tips outlined by the American Red Cross:
- Per Connecticut law, all private pools must have at least a 4-foot-high barrier that encloses the pool and an access gate that locks and self-latches (even if you do not have children).
- Fasten a safety cover over the pool when it is not in use, and remove ladders to further prevent access into the pool. For added safety, install a pool alarm that will sound if anyone enters the water.
- Never leave children unattended while they are near or in a pool, and make sure they have an adult to accompany them into the water. Young or inexperienced swimmers should always wear a life jacket or inflatable arm floats.
- Make sure children stay away from pool drains, pipes, or any other openings to avoid getting trapped or hurt. If a child is missing, always check the pool first.
- Set safety instructions and share them with family, friends, neighbors, or anyone else who is near or uses the pool. Advise children to stay away from pool deep ends, and to always walk, never run, near the pool.
- Take a CPR course for adults and children to be prepared if an emergency situation occurs. Update skills regularly.