Hot Weather Safety
The hottest part of the year is prime time for outdoor activities, ranging from family barbeques to baseball games at the ball park. Fun in the sun, however, can quickly lead to overheating and a wide range of dangerous, heat-related illnesses. Every year in the United States, there are hundreds of heat-induced fatalities that could have been prevented. Once victims realize they are overheated, it's often too late to escape heat sickness. Use the tips below to stay safe in hot weather and treat overheating, so the sun stays fun for you and your family.
- Watch the weather channel or sign up for weather alerts with your local security service to stay informed of rising temperatures and potentially dangerous conditions.
- Drink plenty of fluids; water and sports drinks are the best source of hydration. Avoid alcohol and sugary beverages, as they can actually lead to dehydration.
- Try to stay inside an air-conditioned building. If your home does not have air conditioning, go to a public building (e.g., library, recreation center, or shopping mall), or contact your local security company to find a nearby heat-relief shelter.
- When temperatures soar, wear light, ventilated clothing; moisture-wicking shorts and short-sleeved t-shirts are ideal. Also, avoid dark clothing. Clothes in light colors won't attract sunlight like darker colors will.
- Avoid spending time in a closed, parked car. If you observe someone who appears to be unconscious inside a closed vehicle, alert the nearest emergency worker or security officer immediately.
- When exercising outdoors, take 15-minute breaks every so often in an air-conditioned location, or rest in a shaded spot while you rehydrate and cool down.
- Use a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher, and reapply every two hours during extended activities outdoors and after sweating or swimming. Wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses for extra protection.
Identify Symptoms of Overheating
- Overheating is the cause of many illnesses and conditions. Learn to recognize the signs that you or someone around you may be overheating, and take action immediately.
- Heat cramps – intense cramps in the legs or abdomen – and substantial sweating are common symptoms of overheating.
- Heat exhaustion may be present when a person has cool, clammy skin and feels lightheaded, weak, or nauseous.
- Heat stroke is the most serious of heat illnesses. Signs of heatstroke include headache, high body temperature (106º F
or higher), rapid pulse, or even unconsciousness. Seek medical help as soon as possible – when the symptoms are severe, any delays can be fatal.
Treat Someone Who Is Overheated
- Take the victim inside to recline and relax in a cooler environment.
- Remove or loosen clothing for more ventilation, and fan the victim to create increased air flow.
- Use a cool, wet washcloth, sponge, or ice pack to dab the victim's neck, face, and joints.
- Encourage the victim to drink small sips of water, a sports hydration drink, or juice.
- Call 9-1-1 or alert a nearby security officer if you see no improvement.
- It is important to remember that young children and the elderly are most at risk from heat illness and should be regularly monitored during hot weather.
About U.S. Security Associates
U.S. Security Associates (USA) is one of North America's largest security companies, with 160 locally-responsive offices providing premier national security services and global consulting and investigations to customers in a range of industries. Recognized for world class customer service, leading-edge technology, and an enterprise approach to risk management, USA offers optimized security solutions to meet specific customer needs. USA is committed to building quality security and risk management programs that are Safe. Secure. Friendly.® The Securing Knowledge series is part of the extensive and growing library of reference and training tools that contribute to USA's award-winning customer service and benchmark security programs. USA's investment in training and development resources is reflected not only by BEST Awards from the American Society for Training & Development, consistent ranking on the Training magazine Top 125, and technology-driven quality management system, but also by the company's leadership team, security officers, and service excellence on a daily basis.