Stay well in the heat

13 July 2020



Level 1: Actions to take when we are in heatwave season (May-September)

  • There are actions you can take now to reduce the harm to health of hot weather. External shutters or shades are very effective at reducing indoor temperatures, internal blinds or curtains are less effective but cheaper and easier to install.
  • In preparation for warmer weather, make sure where you live is protected. Shade or cover windows exposed to direct sunlight, open windows when it is cooler and overnight if safe to do so. Turn off the central heating, and lights and electrical equipment that aren’t in use. Use electric fans if the temperature is below 35°C, but do not aim the fan directly at the body and do not use a fan if anyone in the home is unwell with symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19). Check that fridges and freezers are working properly.
  • If you have concerns about an uncomfortably hot home that is affecting your health or someone else’s health, seek medical advice. You may be able to get help from the environmental health department within your local authority; they can do a home hazard assessment. Contact

Level 2: Actions to take when hot weather or heatwave is forecast

  • Hot weather can be dangerous, especially for the very young or very old or those with chronic disease. Advice on how to reduce the risk either for yourself or somebody you know can be obtained from the Heatwave Plan for England page, from your doctor or local chemist, or ring NHS 111.
  • Keep cool in the heatwave by drinking more water, wearing loose, light coloured clothing and keeping in shaded and cooler areas as much as possible.
  • Hot weather is forecast. Minimise travel if possible, stay in the shade whenever you can, drink more water than usual and apply suncream to yourself and children when going outside.
  • Hot weather is forecast. While we want everyone to enjoy the sun, please do not use disposable BBQs in parks and other public areas as there is a significant fire risk

Level 3: Actions to take during hot weather

  • Look out for others, especially older people, young children and babies and those with underlying health conditions. Close curtains on rooms that face the sun to keep indoor spaces cooler and remember it may be cooler outdoors than indoors. Drink plenty of fluids and avoid excess alcohol, dress appropriately for the weather and slow down when it is hot.
  • If you are spending time in shaded or cooler areas outside during the hot weather, remember to adhere to the current social distancing guidelines to minimise the risk of COVID-19
  • During this heatwave, check in on neighbours, friends and people you know who may be more at risk. This includes older people, people with a lack of access to outdoor space, and people with health conditions.
  • During this heatwave, we kindly ask you to not use disposable BBQs in parks and other public areas as there is a significant fire risk.

Level 4: Ongoing actions to take during prolonged hot weather

  • We are experiencing severe/prolonged hot weather and there are steps you can take to look after your health. Cool your skin with water/ice, slow down and reduce your travel, drink plenty of water and avoid excess alcohol.

During this heatwave, be on the lookout for signs of heat-related illness in yourself and others, including nausea, headaches, dizziness or exhaustion. Call NHS 111 or contact your GP if you are concerned about the risk to yourself or your family. In an emergency dial 999.