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How to enjoy the summer season and stay safe.
summer blog

There are two things we love. And when we say love, we mean talk about constantly, doodle their names in our notebooks with hearts around them, and get butterflies in our stomachs just thinking about them.

Summer and safety, of course.

This year we’re more thankful than ever for summer. When we’re not working, you’ll find us on a hike, in the garden, or sipping iced tea on the deck. Getting outside has never felt so good.

"Safety is such an important part of our culture,"

As for safety, it is such an important part of our culture here that chances are, if you’ve ever hung out with one of us, we’ve accidentally started dinner like we do all of our Black Hills Energy gatherings - with a safety topic - at least once. And let’s just say that it can be kind of awkward when you realize halfway into the meal that you’ve been talking about safe digging practices for a half hour and may have even handed out a few 811 stickers to your friends for good measure. That’s just how we roll.

So you can imagine our excitement when we realized that June includes the first day of summer AND is National Safety Month. That sound you hear is the whole Black Hills Energy team giving a big ol’ shout of excitement.

To celebrate, here are our top three tips to stay safe while enjoying the season:

1. Stay safe in the heat

Drink plenty of fluids, wear sunscreen (sunburn affects your body’s ability to cool itself), and pace yourself when you run or exercise outside.

2. Protect yourself from bug bites

 Mosquito bites are more than a minor itchy annoyance. They can also transmit several mosquito-borne illnesses like Zika and West Nile. Stay safe by wearing insect repellant. Avoid leaving doors and windows propped open, and once a week be sure to scrub or empty planters, birdbaths and flowerpot saucers with standing water where mosquitoes can lay their eggs. It’s also important to check your skin every evening for ticks. The deer tick is the size of a pinhead and can transmit bacteria that can lead to Lyme disease. If you see a bull’s eye rash, it could be a sign that you’ve been bitten. See a doctor right away.

3. Don’t let your BBQ give you food poisoning

Use a meat thermometer when you grill to make sure meat has cooked to a safe temperature, and keep that potato and macaroni salad cold. If it’s over 90 degrees, perishables should only be out for an hour, tops.

Finally, make sure to take a mental break this summer. It can be easy to get caught up in to-do lists and WFH responsibilities, but make a conscious effort to relax and enjoy everything the season has to offer. In that spirit, we promise not to give a full PowerPoint safety presentation at every family BBQ in June, only some of them. But we’ll still probably wear safety glasses when the watermelon-spitting contests start. #safetyfirst.