Be prepared for the heatwave Date published: 30th June 2015 2.22pm

Many of us will have seen in the weekend’s media news of an imminent heatwave across the country.

Forecasts indicate that we can expect temperatures in the high 20s during the week, peaking on Wednesday and Thursday before settling down again next weekend.

Although most of us enjoy a rare bit of sunshine during a typical English summer, the hot weather can bring a host of problems – in particular for our health, our pets, our relatives and for our home security.

A few things to bear in mind during hot weather include:

  • Avoid the heat – stay out of the sun and try to avoid going out between 11am and 3pm (the hottest part of the day) if you're vulnerable to the effects of heat. Wear loose, cool clothing and a hat if you have one.
  • Apply sun cream – we might not be in the Algarve, but the effects of the sun in the UK can still be considerable if you don’t look after your skin, and can pose health risks such as sunburn and increase the chance of developing skin cancer.
  • Stay hydrated – drink cold drinks regularly. Plan ahead for journeys and ensure you have enough supply of water and food.
  • Check on friends and relatives – particularly those you know are vulnerable or particularly susceptible to the effects of hot weather.
  • Avoid alcohol – let your hair down and enjoy the warm weather, but drink sensibly. Dehydration is made worse with alcohol.
  • Dogs die in hot cars – many people still believe that it’s ok to leave a dog in a car on a warm day if the windows are left open or they’re parked in the shade, but it’s still a very dangerous situation for the dog. A car can become as hot as an oven very quickly, even when it doesn’t feel that warm. When it’s 22 degrees, in a car it can reach an unbearable 47 degrees within the hour.
  • Keep windows and doors secure – most of us will open windows in the hot weather, but don’t forget to close them again when you leave a room or house. Much of the Constabulary’s work during the summer relates to ‘sneak-in’ burglaries by opportunistic thieves who use the hot weather to their advantage.
  • Swimming – don’t be tempted to swim in rivers and lakes during the hot weather, no matter how inviting they look. Even the most experienced of swimmers can get into difficulty.

Be vigilant – if you see anything that concerns you, or anything suspicious during the hot weather, call police on 101, or if it an emergency, dial 999.