RECORD-breaking heat will sweep across North East Lincolnshire in the coming days, with the extreme heat warnings now moving up to Red and Amber in our area. Here’s your essential guide to keeping yourself, your family and the environment safe:
- Minimise the amount of time you spend outdoors, where possible, particularly between 11am and 3pm when the sun is at its hottest.
- Make sure the sunscreen you are using is SPF15 or higher. Check the ‘use by’ date and apply 20-minutes before you go out. Reapply regularly.
- Wear UV wraparound sunglasses/eye protection to reduce UV exposure to your eyes.
- Minimise strenuous outdoor activity, like sport, DIY, or gardening. If you can’t avoid it keep it for cooler parts of the day, like early morning or evening.
- If you must go out, stay in the shade where possible. Wear a hat and light, loose-fitting clothes, preferably cotton. Cover your skin as much as possible, also using light-weight clothing.
- Take care when you’re outside with children. Metal play equipment can get very hot in the sun and even cause burns.
How to keep you and your home cool:
- Stay inside, in the coolest rooms in your home, as much as possible.
- Close curtains on windows that let a lot of sun into your home. However, metal blinds and dark curtains can absorb heat so a lighter material will be best for keeping the room cool.
- Keep windows that are exposed to daytime sun closed during the day and open windows at night when the temperature has dropped. Be aware of security issues of open windows, especially in ground floor rooms.
- A thermometer in your main living room and bedroom will help you keep a check on the temperature.
- A loose, cotton, damp cloth or scarf on the back of the neck or spraying or splashing your face and the back of your neck with cold water several times a day can help keep you cool. So can a lukewarm shower.
Drink water and fruit juice regularly:
This will help with heatstroke. Symptoms include dizziness, nausea and vomiting, muscle weakness or cramps. If it happens, stay cool and drink plenty of fluids (not alcohol). Take a lukewarm shower or sponge yourself down with cold water. Contact your doctor, a pharmacist or call 111 if you are worried about your health or the health of someone else. If symptoms are severe or someone you are with has collapsed, call 999.
- Keep an eye on isolated, ill or older people, as well as babies and young children.
- Check on older people and sick neighbours, family or friends every day during a heatwave.
- Help older people and people with long-term health conditions to keep their living space cool, by following the tips above.
- Ensure that babies, children or older people are not left alone in stationary cars.
Advice for parents and carers of children and babies
- Make sure babies, especially under six months, stay out of direct sunlight at peak times and remain hydrated by giving them water to drink as well as milk.
- Remember Slip, Slap, Slop, Slide: slip on loose cotton clothing to cover skin; slap on a hat; slop on SPF15 sunscreen or higher; seek shade and slide on sunglasses.
- Wet clothes let through more UV light than dry clothes, so have fun if playing in pools, but have some spare clothes on hand.
- Check more regularly on vulnerable people.
- Be aware that plastic pads and mattresses can be particularly hot.
- Advise the person to avoid alcohol. Ensure they drink plenty of cold water.
- Store medicines in a cool place.
- Turn off unnecessary lights and equipment that may generate additional heat.
- Be aware that some conditions may be exacerbated during high temperatures. Seek medical advice if you have any concerns.
Keeping safe at work:
Heat stress in the workplace – a guide from the Health and Safety Executive. Heat stress in the workplace: A brief guide INDG451 (hse.gov.uk)
Covering up for outdoor workers. Keep your top on (hse.gov.uk).
Enjoy the sun, but do it safely – and remember just how quickly fires can start in such hot, dry weather.
- Never leave the BBQ unattended.
- Ensure the BBQ is on a flat site, well away from a shed, trees or shrubs.
- Keep children, garden games and pets well away from the cooking area.
- Keep a bucket of water or sand nearby for emergencies.
- Ensure the BBQ is cool before attempting to move it.
Disposable barbecues: Use only when on an even surface on either bricks or paving slabs, make sure they are well away from houses, sheds or fences, do NOT use on or near public benches, ensure they have cooled before putting it in the bin – allow it to cool for several hours and pour water over it to make sure it’s out.
Charcoal Barbecues: use only enough charcoal to cover the base to a depth of about 2 inches, only use recognised fire lighters or starter fuel and only on cold coals – use the minimum necessary and never use petrol, never put hot ashes straight into a dustbin or wheelie bin – they could melt the plastic and cause a fire.
Gas Barbecues: make sure the tap is turned off before changing the gas cylinder, change cylinders outdoors or in a well ventilated area, if you suspect a leak to the cylinder or pipe work, brush soapy water around the joints and watch for bubbles – tighten to fix but do not overtighten, after cooking turn off the gas cylinder before turning off at the controls to ensure any residual gas in the pipe work is used up
Fires in green spaces:
Never throw cigarette ends or lighted material to the ground or out of vehicle windows. Ideally, never have an open fire in the countryside. Don’t leave camp fires or barbecues unattended, and extinguish them properly after use. Clear away bottles, glasses, cans and any broken glass to prevent them magnifying the sun’s rays and starting a fire.
For more go to Home | Humberside Fire
We have a significant length of coast and also numerous inland rivers and lakes here in North East Lincolnshire. Remember during this hot weather, our emergency services will be very busy and may be facing extreme pressure so help them to help yourselves and those around you. Enjoy the water safely:
By the coast:
- Always swim at a lifeguarded beach and swim between the red and yellow flags.
- Never swim alone.
- Make sure you understand and obey any safety flags at the beach and pay attention to the lifeguard, if there’s one on duty.
- Check the weather and tides before setting out.
- Tell someone where you are going and when you’ll be back.
- Don’t drink alcohol before going in or on the water.
- Keep in touch – take some means of communication with you, like a mobile phone or a whistle.
Open water swimming:
- Swimming in a group or better still at an organised event is a safer way of starting open water swimming, never swim alone.
- Start slowly, build up strength and experience gradually. You will develop some resistance to cold water but cold shock always remains a danger, get out before you get cold and make sure you have warm clothes to put on.
- Never swim in canals, locks or urban rivers; flowing water can be extremely powerful and levels can rise several feet in minutes even if it is not raining where you are. Moving water will rob you of heat 250 times more quickly than still water.
- Do not jump in, you never know what might be hidden just below the surface, if the water is very cold sudden immersion can cause a gasp reflex causing you to inhale water on contact.
- Wear a brightly coloured swim hat and consider a safety buoy to make yourself more visible.
- Always consider your exit point, and any emergency exits, before you get in the water.
In the bathroom:
- Turning the tap off when brushing your teeth. It will save more than two full buckets of water a day.
- Using a water displacement device in your toilet cistern and save one to two litres with every flush.
- Cutting showers to just five minutes, our region could save over 100 million litres of water every single day – that’s like leaving a tap running for 30 years! Using less hot water will also lower your gas and electricity bills and reduce the amount of carbon emissions released into the atmosphere.
In the kitchen
- Save 10 litres of precious water by running one full load of washing instead of two half loads.
- A running tap uses 15 litres every minute – so why not try washing your fruit and vegetables in a bowl of fresh water.
- Use every space in your dishwasher before putting it on as each cycle can use 15 litres of water.
For more go to: Anglian Water – Love Every Drop
Looking after your dog:
- Make sure your dog has access to clean water at all times, ideally a large bowl filled to the brim. Carry water and a bowl with you on walks.
- On hot days, walk your dog during the cooler parts of the day, in the early morning and late evening
- Watch your pet for signs of over-heating, including heavy panting and loss of energy. If you recognise these signs when on a walk, stop, find a shady spot and give your dog water.
- Never leave your dog (or any pet) alone in a car, even with the windows open
- Make cooling tasty treats by making ice cubes with your dog’s favourite food inside or stuff a Kong and pop it in the freezer
- Be particularly careful with short nosed dogs such as bull breeds, boxers, pugs, older dogs, and those that are overweight. These dogs can get heatstroke simply by running around.