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Pasadena Fire Department - CA
Tuesday July 7th, 2015 :: 06:15 p.m. PDT


Summer Can Be Prime Time to Encounter Snakes Outdoors

City officials want to remind the public that summer months can be prime time to encounter snakes, including California rattlesnakes, while recreating outdoors in parks or open spaces and while on hiking trails.

Remember, snakes generally seek shelter from the sun by hiding under rocks, bushes or in caves and animal burrows during the day. When it’s cooler at night, they can become more active as they hunt for prey.

The City offers the following safety tips to help avoid snake bites:
• Always be aware of your surroundings.
• Walk in areas where the ground is clear so you can see a few steps ahead.
• Be aware of where you sit, before you sit, especially in shady areas.
• Wear protective clothing, such as long pants, long-sleeved shirts and hiking boots.
• Wear gloves and long-sleeved shirts when moving brush or rocks.
• Never reach into cracks in rocks, animal burrows or under bushes.
• Avoid nighttime hikes & sleeping outdoors on the ground when snakes are most active.
• Do not tease, handle or attempt to kill a rattlesnake.
• If you encounter a snake, move out of the way. Do not panic or blindly run away without looking carefully where you are going.

Wildlife officials say it is a misconception that all rattlesnakes make noise before striking. The majority of rattlesnakes are silent, but also generally will not attack unless provoked.

The most important first-aid tip if bitten by any snake is to call 9-1-1 immediately or get to the nearest hospital or emergency room right away. It is best to not use other first-aid methods because they are often useless and may cause you more harm.

If you are bitten by a snake, follow these safety precautions:
• Remain calm.
• Put a safe distance between you and the snake.
• Call 9-1-1 for help; speak clearly and give accurate landmark information about your location for first responders to find.
• Immediately remove rings, watches and bracelets from all limbs due to the potential for swelling once bit.
• If possible, get to the nearest hospital or emergency room right away.
• Keep the bite area immobilized and level with the heart.
• Have a cell phone with you while outdoors, camping or hiking to call for help if needed.

For more information regarding California rattlesnakes, visit For general information about venomous snakes and workplace safety visit

Pasadena Fire Department - CA
215 Marengo Ave
Pasadena, CA 91101

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 626-744-4655

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