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Warm weather warrants water safety reminder

Preventable signage, water safety

Summer brings warm weather and the call of the water, and around B.C. people will be boating, fishing, and swimming.

The lakes, reservoirs, and rivers near BC Hydro generating stations can be ideal for summer recreational activities (and they are located across the province). By following a few safety precautions, you can make sure that your visit is fun and trouble-free.

Stay safe around water

Water levels near BC Hydro facilities can change quickly, so while children should be supervised at all times, it's especially important when you are on or near water. The Canadian Red Cross reports that drowning is the a leading cause of death in children.

At swimming holes and beaches there are no lifeguards, so you need to be responsible for your own safety.

Anyone who is not able to swim or who may not be comfortable around water should wear an approved personal flotation device (PFD). And everyone on a boat, canoe, or kayak, even an inflatable one, must wear a PFD.

The PFD is essential to water safety. Research by the Canadian Red Cross indicates that some 70 percent of all boating deaths could be prevented if people properly wear life jackets. It's why The Community Against Preventable Injuries reminds us about PFDs by putting bright orange life jackets on the laughing statues in Vancouver's English Bay.

Warning signs will notify you of areas that are not to be entered. Whether you're on foot, swimming, or in a boat, these signs must be obeyed.

You should always be aware of what might be under the water. Never jump or dive into the water without first checking what's below the surface. And be aware of floating debris that can damage water craft.

And please respect the hours of operation of BC Hydro recreation areas. They are provided for your safety.

Water safety at home

You can have plenty of fun with water without even leaving home, too.

Some lucky residents have access to pools in their back yards are in their residential complexes. And sprinklers and wading pools can be turned into heat-breakers and obstacle course stages.

Keep your family safe by making sure that children are always supervised when they are around water. And never use electrical appliances or devices around water. Before the back yard shenanigans begin, wrap up and safely store extension cables, put away any power tools, and don't set portable stereos anywhere they can get wet.

Visit Preventable for more water safety tips.