How to keep cool during a heatwave
Group Sustainability and Environment Manager, Jonathan Newton, offers tips for tenants during a heatwave.
Looking after yourselves and others
Most of us can enjoy the hot weather when it arrives, and can deal with some uncomfortable sleeping conditions.
Although the heat can affect anyone, some people are particularly vulnerable to heat and for them a hot home can worsen existing health conditions.
Look out for those who may struggle to keep themselves cool and hydrated during this time such as older people, those with underlying conditions, those who live alone, and pets. Please make sure they are aware of how they can keep themselves protected from the warm weather.
Homes more prone to overheating include:
• Flats on the top floor
• Flats with opening windows on just one side
• Little shading (external or internal)
• Large unshaded east, west or south-facing windows
• Located in a densely built-up urban area with little green space nearby
• Restricted opening of windows.
Tenants and residents who may be at higher risk of ill health from overheating:
• Older, especially over 75 years of age
• Children, especially under four years of age
• Live alone and/or socially isolated
• Long-term health condition (particularly heart and breathing problems)
• On multiple medications
• Reduced mobility and/or ability to look after themselves
• Difficulty adapting their behaviour in warmer weather (for example, due to dementia or alcohol/drug misuse issues)
• At home during the hottest part of the day (for example, small children or home workers).
Take action in hot weather
• Keep yourself hydrated and find shade where possible when UV rays are strongest, between 11am and 3pm
• 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 by opening windows on two side of the house
• Check that central heating is turned off
• Turn off lights and electrical equipment that is not in use.
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