Heatwave warning – tips for keeping cool and safe

Published on 19th July 2013

sun in the sky

Read Cheltenham Borough Homes' tips for coping with the heatwave...

With the hot weather looking like it is here to stay, weather forecasters have warned that the South West of England is likely to experience ‘heatwave’ conditions over the next few days.

Following the Met. Office’s announcement of a Level 3 ‘Heatwave’ alert for the South West of England, Cheltenham Borough Homes (CBH) has issued some tips for keeping cool in the hot weather and a call to local residents to look out for those more vulnerable members of the community such as old people, young people or those with chronic diseases who may be affected by the high temperatures.

The advice for staying cool and safe is:

  • Try to keep out of the sun between 11am and 3pm
  • If you have to go out in the heat, walk in the shade, apply sunscreen and wear a hat
  • Avoid physical exertion
  • Wear light, loose fitting cotton clothes
  • Drink plenty of cold drinks
  • If you have a health problem, keep medicines below 25 °C or in the refrigerator
  • Look out for others especially vulnerable groups such as the elderly, young children and babies and those with serious illnesses
  • Never leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle, especially infants, young children or animals
  • Try to keep your bedroom and living space cool, by closing the curtains on windows that receive the sun and opening your windows at cooler times of the day and overnight when safe to do so
  • Turn off non-essential lights and electrical items as these generate heat

Kathie Pearce, Housing and Communities Director at CBH, said: “These high temperatures, whilst enjoyable for most, can be dangerous especially for the very young, very old or those with serious illnesses. We want to encourage our residents to enjoy the sun safely and also look out for neighbours and friends who may be affected by the heat.”

Why is a heatwave a problem?
The main risks posed by a heatwave are: 

  • dehydration (not having enough water)
  • overheating, which can make symptoms worse for people who already have problems with their heart or breathing
  • heat exhaustion
  • heatstroke

Who is most at risk?

A heatwave can affect anyone, but the most vulnerable people in extreme heat are:

  • older people, especially those over 75
  • babies and young children
  • people with a serious chronic condition, especially heart or breathing problems
  • people with mobility problems, for example people with Parkinson’s disease or who have had a stroke
  • people with serious mental health problems
  • people on certain medications, including those that affect sweating and temperature control
  • people who misuse alcohol or drugs
  • people who are physically active, for example labourers or those doing sports

For more information about hot weather and your health, visit the NHS website If you are concerned about your health or somebody you care for, please contact NHS Direct on 0845 4647.

For more information, visit the Cheltenham Borough Homes website.