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Heat Safety – Use your head!

With yesterday and today topping off at about a hundred degrees here in the Northeast, how have you been keeping cool?  Especially for the very young, and the very old, being safe during the dog days of summer is very important.  But even those of us who land somewhere in the middle need to be aware of the best ways to keep cool and stay safe.

Some heat safety tips from the National Weather Service:

Child Safety Tips

  • Make sure your child’s safety seat and safety belt buckles aren’t too hot before securing your child in a safety restraint system, especially when your car has been parked in the heat.
  • Never leave your child unattended in a vehicle, even with the windows down.
  • Teach children not to play in, on, or around cars.
  • Always lock car doors and trunks–even at home–and keep keys out of children’s reach.
  • Always make sure all children have left the car when you reach your destination. Don’t leave sleeping infants in the car ever!

Adult Heat Wave Safety Tips

  • Slow down. Reduce, eliminate or reschedule strenuous activities until the Thermometer reads 110 degreescoolest time of the day. Children, seniors and anyone with health problems should stay in the coolest available place, not necessarily indoors.
  • Dress for summer. Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing to reflect heat and sunlight.
  • Put less fuel on your inner fires.Foods, like meat and other proteins that increase metabolic heat production also increase water loss.
  • Drink plenty of water, non-alcoholic and decaffeinated fluids.Your body needs water to keep cool. Drink plenty of fluids even if you don’t feel thirsty. Persons who have epilepsy or heart, kidney or liver disease, are on fluid restrictive diets or have a problem with fluid retention should consult a physician before increasing their consumption of fluids. Do not drink alcoholic beverages and limit caffeinated beverages.
  • During excessive heat periods, spend more time in air-conditioned places. Air conditioning in homes and other buildings markedly reduces danger from the heat. If you cannot afford an air conditioner, go to a library, store or other location with air conditioning for part of the day.
  • Don’t get too much sun. Sunburn reduces your body’s ability to dissipate heat.
  • Do not take salt tablets unless specified by a physician.

Visit the National Weather Services website to learn more information on heat related items. http://www.nws.noaa.gov/os/heat/index.shtml

The other major concern that we face during these excessively hot days and nights is energy conservation.  If we all think we’re hot now, how will we feel if there’s a blackout?

You can help save Energy by doing some of the following:

Some steps to stay cool include:

  • Making sure air conditioner filters are clean for peak efficiency;
  • Setting thermostats no lower than 78 degrees.  Each degree lower increases cooling costs by 6 percent;
  • Closing off the rooms not being used if you have a room air conditioner; if you have central air, block the vents in unused or vacant rooms;
  • Turning off lights and other appliances, using a timer to turn them on as necessary;
  • Running appliances such as ovens, washing machines, dryers, and dishwashers in the early morning or late at night when it’s generally cooler. Another alternative: using a microwave to cook, or a barbecue outside, if possible. 
  • Accepting Con Edison’s offer of a free programmable thermostat if you have central air conditioning.  Program the thermostat manually or from the Internet. Turning off your air conditioner when you’re not there beats leaving it on all the time, and programming it instead to turn on before you return is a wise way to save on summer electric bills. To learn more about Con Edison’s free programmable thermostat, call 1-866-521-8600 or visit www.conEd.com/cool.

Con Edison, here in New York City is doing everything they can to keep the power on and those AC’s running.  But there are things you can do to help.  Please visit the ConEd website to learn more: http://www.coned.com/newsroom/news/pr20120621.asp

I hope you all find ways to stay cool, stay comfortable and stay out of the sun!

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