For Immediate Release
Friday, July 15, 2016
Contact: John Guilfoil
*Joint Press Release* Georgetown Fire and Police Departments Provide Hot Weather Safety Tips
GEORGETOWN — With temperatures predicted to hover at 90 degrees for the next several days, Fire Chief Fred Mitchell and Police Chief Donald Cudmore recommend that residents use caution when outside.
“This type of weather can take a serious toll on the body if exposure is not managed properly,” Chief Mitchell said. “If you’re spending time outdoors, whether swimming at Pentucket Pond or hanging out by the pool, remember to take shade throughout the day and keep yourself hydrated.”
The American Red Cross reports that excessive heat has caused more deaths than all other weather events and that residents should be aware of three conditions that could occur during this stretch of hot weather:
Heat cramps: muscular pains and spasms that usually occur in the legs or abdomen caused by exposure to high heat and humidity and loss of fluids and electrolytes. Heat cramps are often an early sign that the body is having trouble with the heat.
— If someone you know is suffering from heat cramps, move the person indoors or to a cooler place and hydrate.
Heat exhaustion: typically involves the loss of body fluids through heavy sweating during strenuous exercise or physical labor in high heat and humidity. Signs include cool, moist, pale or flushed skin, heavy sweating, headache, nausea, dizziness, weakness and exhaustion.
— If you see someone suffering from heat exhaustion, move the person to a cooler place. Remove or loosen tight clothing and apply cool, wet cloths or towels to the skin. Fan the person. If the person is conscious, give small amounts of cool water to drink. Make sure the person drinks slowly. Watch for changes in condition.
Heat stroke: (also known as sunstroke) is a life-threatening condition in which a person’s temperature control system stops working and the body is unable to cool itself. Signs include hot, red skin that may be dry or moist, changes in consciousness, vomiting and a high body temperature.
— If you see someone suffering from heat stroke, move the person to a cool area. Quickly cool the person’s body by giving care as you would for heat exhaustion. If needed, continue rapid cooling by applying ice or cold packs wrapped in a cloth to the wrists, ankles, groin, neck and armpits.
“During this extended period of hot weather, we ask that residents put their safety first and delay all outdoor activities or work that may be strenuous to the body,” Chief Cudmore said. “Additionally, if you are able, check in on older neighbors who are more at risk of falling ill due to the heat.”
The Georgetown Fire and Police Departments suggest that the community follow safety precautions outlined by the American Red Cross:
- Never leave children or pets alone in enclosed vehicles.
- Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids even if you do not feel thirsty. Avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol.
- Eat small meals and eat more often.
- Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light colored clothing. Avoid dark colors because they absorb the sun’s rays.
- Slow down, stay indoors and avoid strenuous exercise during the hottest part of the day.
- Postpone outdoor games and activities and take frequent breaks if you must work outdoors.
- Check on family, friends and neighbors who do not have air conditioning, who spend much of their time alone or who are more likely to be affected by the heat. Don’t forget to monitor your pets to ensure they are not suffering from the heat.
If you see someone who is suffering from a heat-related issue, please call 911.