Summer Information

Advice on how to stay safe during the hot weather

Although most of us welcome the summer sun, high temperatures can be harmful to your health. In one hot spell in August 2003 in England and Wales there were over 2,000 extra deaths than would normally be expected. The heat can affect anyone, but some people run a greater risk of serious harm. As our climate changes, hot spells are expected to be more frequent and more intense.

This document found here will tell you how to stay safe in hot weather, including how to keep your home cool. It tells you who is at greatest risk of ill health from the heat, how to recognise when your or someone else’s health may be affected, and what to do if you or someone else becomes unwell as a result of the heat.

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service’s top tips for staying safe during the heat wave are:

Having a barbecue:

  • Don’t drink too much if you’re in charge of the cooking
  • Don’t leave it unattended
  • Ensure the coals are completely out when you’re done. The best way to do this is to leave the coals in cold water.
  • Position your barbecue away from fences, trees and buildings

Water safety:

  • Keep out of open water, it could be deeper than you think
  • Don’t swim if you have been drinking
  • Water can be colder than you think and you could get cold water shock
  • The water may look calm but the current can be stronger than you think

Enjoying a picnic:

  • Discard smoking materials properly
  • Don’t leave any disposable barbecue lit

More information can be found here

Tips for coping in hot weather:

  • Shut windows and pull down the shades when it is hotter outside. You can open the windows for ventilation when it is cooler.
  • Avoid the heat: stay out of the sun and don't go out between 11am and 3pm (the hottest part of the day) if you're vulnerable to the effects of heat.
  • Keep rooms cool by using shades or reflective material outside the windows. If this isn't possible, use light-coloured curtains and keep them closed (metallic blinds and dark curtains can make the room hotter).
  • Have cool baths or showers, and splash yourself with cool water.
  • Drink cold drinks regularly, such as water and diluted fruit juice. Avoid excess alcohol, caffeine (tea, coffee and cola) or drinks high in sugar.
  • Listen to alerts on the radio, TV and social media about keeping cool.
  • Plan ahead to make sure you have enough supplies, such as food, water and any medications you need.
  • Identify the coolest room in the house so you know where to go to keep cool.
  • Wear loose, cool clothing, and a hat and sunglasses if you go outdoors.
  • Check up on friends, relatives and neighbours who may be less able to look after themselves.

If you're worried about yourself or a vulnerable neighbour, friend or relative, you can contact the local environmental health office at your local authority.

More information on how to cope in hot weather can be found here.

Dogs can suffer burns to their paws on days most people wouldn’t consider searingly hot. Tips to keep your pets safe and well during hot weather can be found here and vet advice here

Children and playground areas:

  • Watch out for hot surfaces.
  • Do not go barefoot in a playground
  • Check slides before use - both metal and plastic can get very hot and cause burns.
  • Metal surfaces including picnic tables, swings, slides and monkey bars can become very hot during the summer.
  • Bring towels to put down on the picnic tables and avoid other hot surfaces.
  • Wear sunscreen and apply it at home. Applying sunscreen at the park does not always work when it may not have the chance to properly dry and soak into skin.

A child who gets sunburned or overheated at the park risks sunstroke, dehydration and they can fall or injure themselves from dizziness related to these things.

The met office provide regular updates on weather warnings here.