With fair week just around the corner, we at the Cummings Law Firm wanted to give some friendly reminders about some of the issues that often arise throughout the week. Over 100,000 people come into our small town during the week of the fair, and with that comes the inevitable escalation in home invasions, property damage, traffic violations, DUI’s, and theft.
The Clearfield Fair Board, the county police, and all of the committees and volunteers that are involved in making the fair happen do an exceptional job of keeping things running smoothly. But, as residents of the town, we also must share in the responsibility of helping things to go off without a hitch.
So for this weeks article, we wanted to compile a list of things that you should be on the lookout for and aware of during the week of the fair, so that it remains a safe, and enjoyable event for all.
If you open your lawn/yard/property to the public, know your rights beforehand, and prepare accordingly.
There are many residences throughout the town that are along the parade route and near the fair grounds. If you open your property to the public, it is important that you are adequately covered should problems arise. Problems can be anything from damaged vehicles, to stolen property from inside those vehicles, to injuries that people sustain while on your property, to drunken or disorderly conduct that occurs on your property. If you plan on opening your property to the public, in an ideal scenario, you will have anybody that occupies your property sign a waiver releasing you from any damages that may be incurred during their stay on your property. If that is not possible, you are going to want to ensure that you have proper liability insurance in place at a bare minimum. It would also be to your benefit to have a list of bylaws and rules displayed prominently on your property. If you aren’t sure about whether you are protected in any of those situations, then you may want to reconsider opening your property to the public. Otherwise, what you might be doing as a favor to the community could end up costing you.
Be wary of vehicular damage when parking at the fair.
If you plan on parking your vehicle at any of the publicly available lots, it is important to be vigilant while doing so. For starters, be aware of any signs that are on display in the lot that you are parking in. Some lots will have disclaimers stating that should your vehicle incur any damage, or anything is stolen from your vehicle, the lot cannot be held responsible. It is important to know what risks are involved in where you choose to park your car. When parking, be sure to park according to the guidance of the parking attendants, and follow common courtesy when parking your vehicle. Additionally, make sure that your windows are closed and your doors are locked before leaving your vehicle. If you typically keep any type of valuables in your car (which includes expensive sunglasses, phones, watches, headphones, video games, etc.), it is recommended that you remove those valuables beforehand, and leave them at home. The less valuable items that you have in your car, the less devastating it will be should your car get broken into.
Be vigilant in locking your doors, garages, and cars.
On a similar note, even if you don’t park in the publicly available lots, it is still important to be vigilant in locking the doors & windows of your house, garage, car(s), and anything else you want to keep safe. We inevitably see a rise in theft, home break-ins, and property damage during fair week, and very simple precautions can stave off many of these types of scenarios.
Don’t set up chairs on private property without express permission from the property owner.
You always know when the parade is approaching, because you start seeing chairs being lined up along the parade route, days in advance. This should go without saying – but if you are going to set up a chair, be sure that you are putting your chair on public property, or property that you have permission to be on. To put it another way – don’t set up your chair in front of a private residence, if you don’t have the property owners permission.
As cliche, and tired as this advice sounds – it is always important that if you are going to drink, you do so responsibly. We handle many DUI’s at our law firm, and almost every single one of them could have been easily avoided. It is very simple – if you plan on drinking, don’t drive. Make other arrangements. With so many people coming into town, police and security will be much heavier than normal, and with that, so will the likelihood of you being caught. Additionally, if you are drinking, know your limit. If you start behaving in a disorderly manner, you are putting yourself and those around you at risk. Nobody wants to be around somebody who can’t handle their alcohol – so don’t be that person.
The week of the fair is always an exciting time, and is something that we all look forward to each year. With a little bit of effort, we can keep this event enjoyable and safe for everybody. However, should you find yourself in an unfortunate situation during the fair, we encourage you to contact our Law Offices, and we’d be happy to assist you.
Our Clearfield office can be reached at 814-765-9611, and our DuBois office can be reached at 814-299-7697. And as always, you can visit us online at www.clfdlaw.com or check us out on Facebook at facebook.com/clfdlaw.
If you have a question that you would like us to answer in our next column, please send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We look forward to seeing everybody there!