Staying safe when the weather gets hot
Hot weather is something many people look forward to and go out and enjoy. But it’s worth remembering that sunny spells can pose health risks for some people. It’s important to protect yourself and others from too much sun or heat, to carry water when travelling and to think of those, such as young children or older people, who may feel the heat more acutely than others.
Keep your cool in the heat
Much of the advice on beating the heat is common sense. Before hot weather arrives, it is a good time to think about what you can do to protect yourself and your family and friends from heat. If spending time outdoors remember to take water or other hydrating drinks with you and protect yourself from the sun during the hottest hours of the day, usually between 11am-3pm.
For some people, especially older people and those with underlying health conditions, the summer heat can bring real health risks. Temperatures indoors can be higher than temperatures outdoors. That’s why we’re urging everyone to keep an eye on those you know who may be at risk this summer. If you’re able, ask if your friends, family or neighbours need any support.
The top ways for staying safe when the heat arrives are to:
- Look out for those who may struggle to keep themselves cool and hydrated. Older people, those with underlying conditions and those who live alone are particularly at risk.
- Close curtains on rooms that face the sun to keep indoor spaces cooler and remember it may be cooler outdoors than indoors.
- Use cool spaces if going outdoors.
- Drink plenty of fluids and avoid excess alcohol.
- Never leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle, especially infants, young children, vulnerable adults, or animals.
- Try to keep out of the sun between 11am to 3pm, when the UV rays are strongest.
- If you have to go outside in the heat, walk in the shade, apply sunscreen and wear a wide-brimmed hat.
- Avoid physical exertion during the hottest parts of the day.
- Make sure you take water with you if you are travelling.
- During warm weather, going for a swim can provide much welcomed relief. If you are going into open water to cool-down, take care and follow local safety advice.
Keep an eye on the weather situation at the Met Office.
Keep an eye on the signs of heatstroke
Do you know how to tell if someone is starting to suffer from heatstroke? And what to do about it? Find out more on the NHS website.
Enjoy water safely
During warm weather going for a swim can provide much welcomed relief.
Stay safe by following Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service’s water safety advice:
- If you are spending time near water, make sure you know what to do if you happened to fall in. Remember Float to Live. The advice is not to panic, float on your back and then either call for help or swim to safety.
- If you've consumed alcohol, do not enter the water, and avoid walking on routes near water.
- Never enter the water to try and help a person or animal - always call 999 and use any water rescue equipment if it is available.
- If you are spending time near water whether at home or abroad, make sure you are familiar with local safety information and that children are always fully and actively supervised.
Keep our countryside safe
Every year, fire destroys thousands of acres of countryside and wildlife habitats. Some fires are started deliberately, but most are due to carelessness. Please, help us keep our countryside safe this summer by following these top tips from Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service:
- Don’t use barbecues in rural areas.
- Extinguish cigarettes and other smoking materials properly.
- Avoid using open fires in the countryside.
- Never throw cigarette ends out of car windows - they can easily ruin whole fields of crops.
- Do not leave bottles or glass in woodlands. Sunlight shining through glass can start large fires. Take them home or put them in a waste or recycling bin.
- If you see a fire in the countryside, report it immediately by calling 999 and asking for the Fire Service.
Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service would also like to reiterate guidelines for the safe use of barbeques at home:
- Never leave a lit barbecue unattended.
- Follow the safety instructions provided with disposable barbecues.
- Make sure your barbecue is well away from sheds, fences, trees, shrubs or garden waste.
- Don’t use accelerants such as lighter fluid or alcohol - this can cause fires to quickly become uncontrollable. Instead, light your barbeque with plenty of time to spare.
- Keep children, pets and garden games away from the cooking area.
- After cooking, make sure the barbecue is cool before moving it.
- Empty ashes onto bare garden soil, not into dustbins or wheelie bins. If they’re hot, they can melt the plastic and cause a fire.
- Enjoy yourself, but don’t drink too much alcohol if you are in charge of the barbecue.
- Always keep a bucket of water, sand or a garden hose nearby for emergencies.
- Never use a barbecue indoors.