With climate change, we can expect to experience more extreme heat during the summer, such as the ‘heat dome’ event that occurred in Metro Vancouver in 2021. We encourage everyone to be safe in the heat and stay informed about heat-related health risks.
Where can I keep cool in Delta?
Many municipal facilities, including public libraries, recreation centres, and community centres have air conditioned spaces and water where you can cool down on a hot day.
Everyone is at risk for heat-related illness, but some people are more affected by the heat than others. Older adults, infants and young children, those with chronic health conditions, and those taking certain medicines should take extra care.
Signs of heat exhaustion include:
Skin rash Headache Heavy sweating Feeling dizzy or faint Feeling sick or vomiting Rapid breathing and heartbeat Muscle cramps Trouble concentrating Extreme thirst Dark urine, urinating less
If you have these symptoms, move to a cool space and drink plenty of water.
Signs of heat stroke include:
High body temperature Feeling dizzy or faint Confused Less coordinated Very hot and red skin
If you have these symptoms, it is a medical emergency. Call 9-1-1 immediately.
- Dress for the heat – wear clothing that is loose-fitting, light-coloured, and breathable.
- Hydrate – drink plenty of water and offer water to those in your care.
- Keep the space cool – keep the building cool, close blinds to block the sun, open windows at night to let in cooler air.
- Check-in – notice how you feel and watch for signs of heat illness in those around you.
- Plan ahead and stay informed – plan outdoor activities for cooler times of the day to avoid the heat of the sun, check latest heat alerts and weather forecasts.
- Cool-off – take breaks from the heat, spend time in a shady area or air conditioned building, use water to help cool off such as wet towels or a cool shower.
In summer, houses and apartments can get hotter and stay hotter longer than the air outside. Make a plan to keep your home cool:
- Keep blinds or drapes closed to block out the sun during the day
- Make meals that don’t involve the use of an oven, especially if you don’t have air conditioning
- Unplug electronics and turn off lights when not in use
- Talk to your landlord about providing a cool common area for residents without air conditioning
- Use fans properly:
- Use your fan in or next to a window. Box fans are best.
- Use a fan to bring in the cooler air from outside.
- Use your fan by plugging it directly into the wall outlet. If you need an extension cord, it should be CSA (Canadian Standards Association) approved.
- Don’t use a fan in a closed room without windows or doors open to the outside.
- Don’t believe that fans cool air. They don’t. They just move the air around. Fans keep you cool by evaporating sweat.
- Don’t use a fan to blow extremely hot air on yourself. This can cause heat exhaustion to happen faster.
- Do not use fans when the temperature in a room is 34°C or higher as it creates a “convection oven” type of effect. This is especially a concern for older adults and people taking certain medications since their ability to sweat is decreased.
During Heat Warnings, call, text or video chat with family, friends and neighbours, especially isolated older adults who live alone. Other groups at risk include:
- people with chronic and pre-existing illnesses
- infants and young children
- people on certain medications
- people who are marginally housed or experiencing homelessness
Don’t forget pets!
- Bring lots of water on walks and watch for signs of overheating.
- Hot pavement can have very painful consequences for your dogs. A quick and easy test to see if the street enough for a walk with your dog is to put the back of your hand on the pavement. If you can't keep it there for five seconds, it's too hot for your dog's feet.
- If possible, wait to walk or run your dog when the temperature drops a bit, or stay on the grass. Don't go out in the hottest part of the day.
- DO NOT leave your pets or children in your car. Leaving them, even for a short amount of time or with the windows open, can be fatal.