Stay safe in the heat

Find out things you can do to stay safe and how to look after vulnerable people in the hot weather.

Most of us look forward to some warm, sunny weather and the chance to spend time outdoors, but it’s important to remember that some people struggle to cope with the heat.  

We can all take precautions that allow us to enjoy the hot weather safely and help people who might be more vulnerable as the temperatures rise.

Things we can do to stay safe

There are a few simple things we can all to do stay safe when we experience high temperatures. 

We can look out for others by getting in touch with friends, family or neighbours who may struggle to keep themselves cool and hydrated and need help.

To keep cool we can: 

  • close curtains on rooms that face the sun and remember it may be cooler outdoors than indoors
  • drink plenty of fluids
  • avoid excess alcohol

If you go outside:

  • take water with you, there are refill points across the city
  • try to keep out of the sun
  • avoid physical exertion in the hottest part of the day
  • walk in the shade, apply sunscreen and wear a wide-brimmed hat and loose-fitting clothing

You should never leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle, especially infants, young children or animals. 

You should check that fridges, freezers and fans are working properly and make sure medicines can be stored according to the instructions.

To stay safe in the hot weather:

  • take care and follow local safety advice if you're going into the sea to cool down
  • look out for signs of heat-related illness
  • cool your skin with water, slow down and drink water

Phone NHS 111 if you need medical help or in an emergency phone 999.

Looking after vulnerable people in hot weather

Anyone can become unwell when the weather is hot, but certain factors increase someone's risk.

Those who are at higher risk of becoming seriously unwell include people who: 

  • are aged over 65 years
  • are already ill and dehydrated, for example from diarrhoea and vomiting
  • experience alcohol or drug dependence
  • are physically active and spend a lot of time outside such as runners, cyclists and walkers
  • work in jobs that require manual labour or extensive time outside
  • live on their own, or are socially isolated
  • are unable to look after themselves and those living in a care home

Babies and young children are also more at risk of becoming seriously unwell.

Environmental factors

Environmental factors can also increase the risk of becoming seriously unwell, such as:

  • living in a top-floor flat
  • experiencing homelessness
  • carrying out physical or work activity that is outdoors or in hot places

Medical factors

People with certain medical conditions are more at risk of becoming unwell. These medical conditions include:

  • heart, kidney or respiratory conditions
  • dementia
  • diabetes
  • obesity
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • severe mental illness
  • mobility problems

People on certain medications that can affect heart or kidney function, cognition or ability to sweat are also more at risk.

Air pollution can become worse during hot weather. This can cause problems for people with asthma and other breathing problems.

More information to help you stay safe

For more information on how to stay safe in hot weather:

Further hot weather and health guidance and advice for professionals and the public is available from GOV.UK. This includes:  

  • guidance on how to support vulnerable people 
  • guidance for attending events and mass gatherings 
  • information on measures to be taken by different organisations in the event of extreme heat 
  • information to keep yourself and others safe and cool