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Firefighters offer tips to keep you safe in extreme heat

Published: Jul. 28, 2021 at 7:07 PM CDT
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HOMEWOOD, Ala. (WBRC) - Dangerously high temperatures will be sticking around for the next several days. And experts are warning that if you have to be outdoors, take it easy and make preparations ahead of time to stay safe.

Joshua Dean, with the Greater Alabama Association of Home Builders, said contractors are used to working in the blazing sun during the summer months.

“People who tend to be most exposed on job sites are folks working outside directly in the sun, so framers who are framing the house and getting it built and then roofers who are working on top of the houses,” Dean said.

He said builders typically get started early, ending the day before peak heat arrives around 1 or 2 p.m.

Dean said he’s normally pretty good about staying hydrated, but even he has fallen victim to the extreme temperatures.

“I’ve been framing downtown on a loft renovation project when it was 98 degrees and just had to say, ‘Guys, like, let’s time out, like let’s go downstairs and cool off.’ We all kind of sensed it. You feel kind of tightness in your neck, and your vision gets blurry and dark and it’s like, ‘Okay, hold up,” Dean explained.

He said he can feel the effects of overheating for several days.

“The sooner that you can start drinking those fluids the better. So, if I know I’m going to be working outside tomorrow, I’m going to try to start drinking plenty of fluids today to try to stay hydrated,” said Lt. Mark Shannon with the Homewood Fire Department.

He’s warning everyone to take precautions before you head outside for work or play.

“If you do have to get outside because your job, you know, you don’t have a choice, take more frequent breaks. When you do drink plenty of water, try to take your breaks in the air conditioning if you can, if you can’t try to find a shady spot,” Lt. Shannon explained.

He recommended getting yard work done early in the morning or later in the evening to avoid peak heat.

And be sure to check on the very young and the elderly because they’re the most vulnerable to extreme heat.

He also said consider moving your outdoor pets inside.

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