Orillia Fire Service Helping To Beat The Heat

Service Has Suggestions On How To Keep Cool And Keep Safe During This Heat Wave

A Heat Advisory from Environment Canada has folks in the region looking for ways to beat the heat in early Autumn. The Orillia Fire Service has a few suggestions to do so, along with information on how to keep safe during this heat wave. Check it out below, or visit the Orillia website for more information.

Here are five ideas to keep your house and yourself cool:

  1. If your area cools off in the evening, take advantage of the cool evenings to cool off your entire house. Open windows and doors with screens to bring the inside temperature down.
  2. Consider using a whole-house fan. It is a  “natural evening air conditioner.”
  3. In the morning, close up your house and draw blinds and drapes so the house stays darker and thus cooler.
  4. If you have venetian blinds, close them or angle them upwards. That way, light is reflected up and into the room and direct rays of the sun are not let in.
  5. Set your thermostat to 26 C (78 F) when you are home and 29 C (85 F) degrees when you are away. For the infirm, elderly, and those who have trouble maintaining body temperatures (such as diabetics), set your thermostat lower (22 to 24 C) when you are home.

Hot weather affects the elderly and the infirm more than those who are in better health. So, keep reading…

At-Risk from High Heat

Although anyone, at any time, can suffer from heat-related illness, some people are at greater risk than others. Check regularly on:

  • Infants and young children up to 4 years of age
  • Persons over 65, and particularly those who have health problems involving their heart, kidneys, or lungs
  • Persons who are overweight
  • Persons taking diuretics, sedatives, tranquilizers, antihistamines or any other medication which interferes with their ability to perspire
  • Persons who overwork or exercise excessively in the heat
  • Persons who are dehydrated or have poor circulation, reducing the ability of their body to deliver blood to the skin
  • Persons who have a mental illness
  • Persons who are physically ill, especially with heart disease or high blood pressure

Visit older adults at risk at least twice a day and closely watch them for signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Infants and young children, of course, need much more frequent watching.

The best defense is PREVENTION.

Here are some precautions you can take…

  • Wear light weight, light-coloured loose-fitting clothing.
  • Apply sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) rating of at least “SPF 15” to exposed portions of the body
  • Limit exposure during the hottest hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • If possible, avoid strenuous work or exercise outside.
  • Take advantage of shade in the environment and/or wear a wide-brimmed hat.
  • Stay in air-conditioned areas or use cooling fans to speed sweat evaporation.

Other Things to Do and Not Do

Stay indoors and, if at all possible, stay in an air-conditioned place. If your home does not have air conditioning, go to the shopping mall or public library-even a few hours spent in air conditioning can help your body stay cooler when you go back into the heat.

Electric fans may provide comfort, but when the temperature is in the mid 30’s (high 90’s F) or above, fans will not prevent heat-related illness. Taking a cool shower or bath, or moving to an air-conditioned place is a much better way to cool off.

Drink lots of cool, non-alcoholic fluids. If you’re exercising or working, drink 2 to 4 glasses of water an hour. If you lose a lot of fluid on a hot day, sports drinks are preferred over water because they will replenish sodium.

Check with your doctor if you have health problems that require you to limit fluid intake or you’re taking diuretics – ask your health professional how much you should drink while the weather is hot.

Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink. Drink more fluids (nonalcoholic) regardless of your activity level. Don’t rely upon thirst as an indicator of your need for water; it’s not reliable in very high heat.

Don’t drink liquids that contain caffeine, alcohol, or large amounts of sugar – these actually cause you to lose more body fluid. Also, avoid very cold drinks, because they can cause stomach cramps.

Avoid hot foods, and keep meals light. Foods (like proteins) that increase metabolic heat production also increase water loss (the body has to work harder – and use more blood – to digest heavy foods).

NEVER leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle. Certainly don’t leave children or pets in a vehicle, even for “a few minutes.” Heat builds up rapidly to exceptionally high temperatures in a closed vehicle, and it doesn’t take much exposure to make children or pets very ill or become deadly.

Pay attention to warning signs:

  • Red, hot sweaty skin, cramps, lightheadedness and fatigue will occur long before heatstroke.
  • Get out of the heat immediately and seek medical attention before serious harm is done.

For more information visit Health Canada