Extreme heat warning

The Met Office has extended an extreme heat warning as temperatures continue to stay extremely high this week and next week.

Temperatures could be in excess of 35°C in the South East. Please look out for each other during the hot weather - the heat can affect anyone, but for some it can have serious effects on health; older people, those with underlying conditions and those who live alone are particularly at risk.

  • Stay cool indoors by closing curtains in rooms that face the sun – and remember that it may be cooler outdoors than indoors.
  • Drink plenty of fluids and avoid excess alcohol.
  • Never leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle, especially infants, young children or animals.
  • Try to keep out of the sun between 11am to 3pm, when the UV rays are strongest.
  • Walk in the shade, apply sunscreen and wear a wide-brimmed hat, if you have to go out in the heat.
  • Use high factor 30-50 SPF with a high star UVA rating, apply sun cream 20 mins before going out and every 2 hours in the sun and make sure your sun cream is in date, if it has been open for more than 12 months it may not be as effective.
  • Avoid physical exertion in the hottest parts of the day.
  • Make sure you take water to drink with you.
  • Look out for people who may need support in your community and check on older people or sick neighbours, family or friends every day during hot weather.

Emergency treatment  

  • If you suspect someone has heatstroke, call 111 or 999 in a life-threatening situation.
  • Take the person’s temperature.
  • If possible, move them somewhere cooler.
  • Cool them down as quickly as possible by giving them a cool shower, sprinkling them with water or wrapping them in a damp sheet, and using a fan to create an air current.
  • Encourage them to drink fluids if they are conscious.

More heat health information from the NHS here.

Important water safety information from Reading Berkshire Fire and Rescue

If you find yourself in trouble in the water:

  • Float to live. Do not panic, float on your back.

If someone else is in trouble in the water:

  • If someone else falls into the water, call 999 straight away and ask to speak to the fire service and ambulance. 
  • Never enter the water to try and save someone, even if you are a strong swimmer. Shout to the person in the water ‘swim to me.' The water can be disorientating and this can give them a focus.
  • Depending on where you are there might be lifebelts or throw bags – use them. If they are attached to a rope, make sure you have secured or are holding the end of the rope so you can pull them in.

Spending time near water

  • When running or walking next to the water, stay clear of the edges. Riverbanks may be unstable and give way.
  • Look out for trip or slip hazards - pay attention to your footing.
  • If you are walking the dog and they end up in the water, do not go in after them.
  • Avoid walking routes near water if you are under the influence of alcohol. Alcohol affects your ability to get yourself out of trouble, so find another route home instead. Look out for your friends and make sure they get home safely.
  • You have no idea what's beneath the water surface, there could be unseen currents and reeds which could pull you under. 

More water safety information here.

Every drop counts this summer

There are some simple steps you can take to reduce how much water you use and possibly save money on your bill at the same time.

Simple changes to help save water:

  • Reuse your paddling pool water: Don’t tip the water away – there are lots of other uses for it. Why not clean your car, water the plants or even wash the dog?
  • Let your lawn grow longer: Lawns are tough, so allowing the grass to go brown is one of the easiest ways to save water.
  • Swap a hose or sprinkler for a watering can: You’ll only use a fraction as much water, especially if you water your plants at the roots.    
  • Don’t water plants during the day: Dusk or dawn are much better times to use your watering can, as you’ll lose less water through evaporation.
  • Clean your car with a bucket and sponge: Hang up the hose and keep your vehicle clean while helping ease demand.