Beat the heat | stay safe in the heat and looking out for the most vulnerable 21/07/2021

Advice from Devon County Council on how to stay safe in the heat and help protect those most at risk.

It is important to stay safe in the heat; while most of us enjoy the sunshine, there are some health risks when it is too hot for too long. The Met Office has issued a Level 3 heatwave alert for Devon, which will be in force until 11.59pm on Thursday 22 July which means that temperatures are currently high enough to impact health.

Covid-19 may exacerbate the heatwave; those with organ damage following severe Covid-19 may be more vulnerable to the heat, and those suffering with an infection currently may be struggling with a fever. Many people across Devon are stuck at home in isolation where they may be finding it harder to stay cool.

Councils have a role to play helping their communities to stay safe in the heat of a heatwave. Devon County Council has issued a very important heatwave bulletin with top tips on staying safe in the heat and how to help those most at risk including:

  • Stay hydrated; drink lots of water or eat food with high water content.
  • Keep your home cool; draw curtains against the sun and keep air flowing through your home.
  • Keep yourself cool; cold showers, cold cloths, using fans can all help.
  • Stay safe outdoors; avoid the hottest part of the day (11am-3pm), apply sunscreen and wear a wide brimmed hat.

The bulletin also includes a message from Steve Brown, Director of Public Health Devon, who is urging residents to beat the heat and look out for the most vulnerable.

We did previously issue a newsletter with some advice on preparing for summer, and there is also some guidance on our website about the heatwave plan for England and how you can look after your communities at this time.

Whilst on the topic of keeping safe outdoors …

New guidance on managing public outdoor settings has been published by MHCLG considering the many restrictions that have now been lifted. The guidance includes key principles and other information that councils should consider to support the safe use of outdoor public places such as:

  • Urban centres
  • Green spaces
  • Outdoor playgrounds
  • Outdoor gyms
  • Tourist hotspots (beaches, the countryside and coastal areas

This guidance replaces some previous MHCLG guidance on safer public places such as the advice on managing playgrounds, managing beaches and managing urban centres.