Safety during excessive heat

Heat is one of the leading weather-related killers in the United States. When temperatures rise, everyone should take extra precaution to keep themselves as well as their friends and families safe.

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Safety information for extreme heat

  • Stay cool indoors. Stay in an air-conditioned place as much as possible. If your home does not have air conditioning, go to the shopping mall or public space with air conditioning. Even a few hours spent in air conditioning can help.
  • Don’t rely on fans. Electric fans may provide comfort, but when the temperature is in the high 90s, they will not prevent heat-related illness and may make the situation worse.
  • Keep out heat. Close doors of unused rooms and close curtains or blinds. Limit using stove and oven.
  • Limit time outdoors. Avoid strenuous activity and try to plan time outdoors when it’s coolest, like morning and evening hours. Rest often in shady areas. Avoid the hottest part of the day, usually 3-6 p.m.
  • Stay hydrated with water. Drink more fluids, regardless of how active you are. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink. Stay away from sugary or alcoholic drinks, which can cause you to lose more body fluid.
  • Plan work to avoid heat. Try to plan strenuous activities outdoors for early or late in the day when temperatures are cooler. Take frequent breaks. Hydrate regularly.
  • Help others. Infants and young children, older adults, people with limited mobility, pregnant women and those with pre-existing or chronic conditions can be extra vulnerable to heat illnesses. Make sure they are staying hydrated and keeping cool. 
  • Keep pets safe. Make sure they have protection from heat and sun and access to cold, fresh water. The surface temperature of asphalt and other paved surfaces can get hot enough to burn paws. Walk on grass if possible.
  • Check the back seat. NEVER leave a child, disabled adult, or pet unattended in a vehicle.
  • Know the signs of heat related illness.
  • If you don't have access to air conditioning, visit a cooling center

Resources and helpful links

Find a local cooling center

Smoke and air quality information

Heat safety tips and resources