Staying Safe in Extreme Heat
Extreme heat can take its toll on you, your home, your vehicle, and your loved ones. Take the proper precautions to keep everyone, and everything, safe during these summer months.
At Home or Work
- Protect your home’s foundation from shifting under extreme heat by placing soaker hoses around the perimeter about six inches from the house. Running the water slowly can keep the soil moist (not soaked) and prevent your foundation from pulling away from your home and shifting. This small step can save thousands of dollars in damage to your home.
- Avoid strenuous activity. Try to work only in the coolest part of the day, which is usually in the morning between 4:00 a.m. and 7:00 a.m.
- Stay indoors as much as possible. If air conditioning is not available, stay on the lowest floor, out of the sunshine. Use a fan when possible.
- If your home is too warm, go to public buildings with air conditioning such as libraries, schools, movie theaters, shopping malls or other community facilities.
- Drink plenty of water regularly and often. Avoid drinks with alcohol or caffeine in them.
- Eat small meals and eat more often. Avoid foods that are high in protein, which increase metabolic heat.
- Review your homeowners insurance policy with your insurance agent periodically to make sure you have sufficient coverage.
- Wear lightweight, loose-fitting, light-colored clothing. Light colors will reflect away some of the sun's energy. Protect your face and head by wearing a wide-brimmed hat.
- Check on family, friends, and neighbors who do not have air conditioning and who spend much of their time alone.
In Your Vehicle
- Never leave children or pets alone in closed vehicles.
- Use your air conditioner whenever possible.
- In case of a breakdown, keep bottled water in your car at all times.
Tips for parents and pet owners to prevent a tragedy:
The summer months can be a dangerous time for children and pets left in a vehicle, even for a short amount of time. AAA recommends that parents, caregivers and pet owners never leave a child or pet alone in a vehicle, even if the vehicle is parked in the shade or has open, cracked or tinted windows. Even on an overcast day, the temperature inside the vehicle can quickly rise causing the child or pet to suffer heatstroke or possible death.
- Avoid heatstroke by never leaving your child or pet in your vehicle, even for a minute.
- Create reminders and habits that give you a safety net. For example: leave an item you need at your next stop in the back seat so you don’t forget about your loved one.
- If you see an unattended child or pet in a vehicle, call 911 and follow the instructions of emergency personnel.
- Lock your car at all times — even in your garage or driveway — so young kids can’t climb into the vehicle without your knowledge.
- Discuss hot-car safety with everyone who drives your child, including partners, grandparents and babysitters.
- Don’t drive distracted. More than half of heatstroke deaths occurred when a distracted caregiver forgot a quiet child was in the vehicle.
- If you can’t take your pet inside with you, leave your pet at home.