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Staying safe in hot weather

High temperatures can be harmful to your health and as the climate changes we’re seeing more extreme weather conditions.

Here are some practical hints and tips to keep yourself and others safe and well during extreme hot weather.

Listen to the weather forecast and news

Know what weather conditions are expected in your local area and plan ahead as necessary.

Heatwaves can affect other services such as power and water supplies, and public transport.

Air pollution can become worse during hot weather.

Check in on others

Remember to check on friends, family, and neighbours, particularly people with young children or older people who are more at risk.

Be sun safe and plan ahead

  • Stay out of the heat, cool yourself down, keep your environment cool or find somewhere else that is cool.
  • Always wear and reapply sun cream.
  • Wear loose clothes; use sunglasses, a hat, or a scarf to keep the sun off your face and neck.
  • Never leave people vulnerable to very hot weather, or dogs, alone in a parked vehicle.
  • Try to keep your house cool - closing blinds or curtains can help.

Keep well

  • Drink plenty of fluids and avoid excess alcohol. Water, lower fat milks, tea and coffee are good options.
  • Carry on taking all prescribed medicines unless advised not to by a medical professional. But be aware that some prescription medicines can reduce your tolerance of heat.
  • If you feel unwell, get dizzy, weak, anxious or have intense thirst, move to a cool place, drink water and try to cool your body down. Call 111 if you need medical support.
  • Slow down when it’s hot – don’t do too much exercise or physical activity, especially outdoors.
  • Speak to your local pharmacy for advice on how you can prevent and deal with allergies and sunburn.
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Some people can feel the effects of the heat more than others.

Be sun safe and plan ahead in hot weather

The hottest hours of the day are 11am – 3pm.

Reduce the risk of fire

The risk of fire is greatly increased in hot, dry conditions. Please don’t be tempted to light a garden fire or BBQ when it’s very hot outside.

Take your rubbish home with you – leave BBQs at home and don’t leave litter in the countryside where it can catch fire.

Help our friends at South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue. You can anonymously report anyone starting fires by calling FireStoppers on 0800 169 5558 or completing their online form below.

Anonymously report information about a deliberate fire to FireStoppers
Stay safe around water

Although it’s tempting to cool off when the weather is warm, open water is very dangerous. Drowning accidents are especially high in the summer months. None of Barnsley Council’s open water areas have safe, organised swimming. Speak to your children about being safe around open water.


It’s colder than it looks
Water at open water and inland sites is often much colder than it looks, cold water can affect your ability to swim and self-rescue. The body can very quickly go into cold water shock and even the strongest of swimmers can drown.

It’s stronger than it looks
Currents in the water can be very strong. If you find yourself caught in a current, don’t swim against it – you’ll tire yourself out. Swim with the current and call for help.

Float to live

If you found yourself struggling in the water unexpectedly, your instinct would tell you to swim hard. But cold water shock can make you gasp uncontrollably, breathe in water, and drown. Instead, you should float to live:

  • If you're struggling in the water, fight the urge to thrash around
  • Lean back - extend your arms and legs
  • Gently move them around to help you float if you need to
  • Float until you can control your breathing
  • Only then, call 999 for help or swim to safety

Registered address:

10th floor, Gateway Plaza, off Sackville St, Barnsley, South Yorkshire, S70 2RD

Berneslai Homes Limited is a company controlled by Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council. A company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales, number 4548803