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08 June 2016

Staying safe in 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.

  • shade or cover windows exposed to direct sunlight, external shutters or shades are very effective, while internal blinds or curtains are less effective but cheaper and easier to install
  • take a break from the heat by moving to a cooler part of the house (especially for sleeping)
  • remember that it may be cooler outside in the shade or in a public building (such as places of worship, local libraries or supermarkets); consider a visit as a way of cooling down
  • open windows (when it is safe to do so) when the air feels cooler outside than inside, for example, at night. Try to get air flowing through the home
  • check that central heating is turned off
  • turn off lights and electrical equipment that isn't in use
  • for more information on how to stay safe in hot weather, call NHS 111 or visit NHS Choices 
Download Public Health England's Beat the heat: keep cool at home checklist here.