Q&A: Heat safety awareness
While summer typically brings plenty of fun in the sun, it also means families need to be prepared for the dangers of extreme heat.
On July 10, 1913, the United States experienced the hottest temperature ever recorded at 134.1°F in Death Valley, California. While most of us will never experience a temperature that high in our lifetimes, extreme heat still calls for vital safety measures during the summer. At Cummins, we want you to have the information available to stay safe all season long.
What are the dangers of extreme heat?
Heat Exhaustion Symptoms
- Sweating, clammy, pale skin
- Weak, rapid pulse
- Headache, muscle cramps
- Weakness, fatigue, dizziness
- Nausea or vomiting
Actions to take:
- Move to a cool place with A/C
- Lie down and rest with feet elevated
- Stay hydrated with water
- Cool your body with cold, wet cloths
- Loosen clothing
- Seek medical help if vomiting occurs or symptoms worsen
Heat Stroke Symptoms:
- Fever of 103 or higher
- Dry, red and hot skin with no sweating
- Fast, strong pulse
- Dizziness, nausea, throbbing headache
- Loss of consciousness or seizure
Actions to take:
- Call 911 immediately
- Move person to a cool place
- Lower person's body temperature with cold water, wet cloths and fanning
- Place ice packs on neck, arm pits and groin
- Death is possible if untreated
What are some safety tips during a heat wave?
- Do not leave children or pets alone in hot vehicles
- Stay inside during the hottest part of the day (10 a.m. - 4 p.m.) and limit time outside in the sun
- If A/C is not available, stay indoors on the lowest floor in a well-ventilated area with fans
- Keep shades and blinds closed
- Stay hydrated with plenty of water
- Avoid alcohol and soda as they make dehydration worse
- Limit strenuous activity and postpone outdoor games and events
- Apply sunscreen frequently, wear a hat and light-colored clothing
- Entertain yourself at air-conditioned public spaces such as malls, movie theaters or libraries
- Check on family and friends with special needs, those who may not have A/C or live alone
- Keep your pets indoors and ensure they are in a cool space and have plenty of water
- Listen for weather updates from the National Weather Service on a NOAA weather radio
- Go to a designated public shelter if your home loses power during periods of extreme heat. Text SHELTER + your ZIP code to 43362 (4FEMA) to find the nearest shelter in your area (example: shelter 12345) and listen to your local officials for shelter locations.
How should I prepare for extreme heat?
- Consider a home standby generator that will keep your home cool in the event of an outage
- Properly install window air conditioners (sealing any cracks) and insulate if necessary
- Check A/C ducts for proper insulation and clean filters
- Install awnings, blinds or light-colored drapes to keep sunlight and heat out
- Upgrade your windows and weather-stripe door to keep heat out and cool air in
- Get trained in first aid and CPR
How can a generator keep me safe during a heat wave?
- Home generators will keep your essential functions – like air conditioning – operating in the event of an outage
- An automatic transfer switch will ensure your generator starts immediately once your power goes out, so you don’t have to go outside or leave your home
- Portable generators can provide power to smaller items, like a window A/C unit to keep you cool when experiencing extreme heat
Get your free in-home assessment now or find a local dealer.