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Renton Residents Asked to Protect Themselves During Heat Wave

July 24, 2009
For more information contact:

Deborah Needham, Emergency Management Director 425-430-7027
Preeti Shridhar, Communications Director 425-430-6569

Temperatures expected to reach into the 90s

RENTON – With temperatures expected to reach into the 90s this week, fire, medical, and police personnel are concerned and watching for increased problems that may occur as a result of the heat. The City of Renton is asking citizens to be proactive in planning to stay safe in the heat, and take appropriate measures to protect their personal health and homes.

“Many people enjoy the summer sun; however, high temperatures can pose a significant health risk especially to the elderly, those with chronic illnesses, children, athletes, outdoor workers and pets,” said Mayor Denis Law. “Please try to stay cool by drinking plenty of water, staying out of the sun, avoiding strenuous activity, and taking advantage of the city’s air conditioned community centers and libraries as well as the public pool to escape the heat.” 

Citizens are encouraged to be aware of the dangers and take precautions to protect themselves and those they care for.

The Renton Community Center at 1715 Maple Valley Highway in Renton is air conditioned and is open to the public Monday – Thursday from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday 6 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Renton Senior Center at 211 Burnett Avenue N. in Renton also is air conditioned and welcomes seniors during its normal operating hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Other public places such as libraries, movie theaters and stores are other good places to beat the heat.

The city also offers the following additional information for protection during the heat wave:

Health and Safety

• Whenever possible, stay out of the sun. When in the sun, wear sunscreen (at least SPF 15) and a hat to protect your face and head. Dress in lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing that covers as much skin as possible.
• Be safe near water. Swim in guarded areas.
• Drink fluids-particularly water-even if you do not feel thirsty. Avoid beverages containing alcohol or caffeine.
• Avoid strenuous activity, especially during the sun's peak hours of11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
• Cool down with repeated cool baths or showers.
• Never leave children, seniors, or pets in a parked car during periods of intense summer heat, even for a few minutes.
• Check in frequently with elderly residents who may need assistance during the hot weather.
• Recognize the symptoms of heat-related illnesses, including heat exhaustion and heat stroke:

  • Heat exhaustion: Symptoms include heavy sweating, weakness, headache, weak pulse, dizziness, exhaustion, fainting, nausea or vomiting, and cold, clammy skin. Body temperature will seem normal.
  • Heat stroke: Symptoms include flushed, hot, dry skin; weak or rapid pulse; shallow breathing; lack of sweating; throbbing headache; dizziness; nausea; confusion; and unconsciousness. Body temperature will be elevated, and victim should receive immediate medical attention.

Fire Prevention

• Observe all fire safety regulations, including outdoor burning bans and fireworks bans. Fireworks are illegal within the City of Renton.
• Extinguish cigarettes or other burning material in an ashtray, never outdoors.
• Do not drive over dry grass or brush. A running vehicle may ignite the dry vegetation.

Home Security 

• More than 50% of residential burglaries in Renton are non-forced entry, meaning the criminal enters via an unsecured door or window.  While it is tempting to leave your windows open at night during hot weather, doing so may increase your likelihood of burglary. 
• Ground floor windows and doors should be closed and locked when you are not in the immediate vicinity and when you are asleep.  Second story windows that can be easily accessed by climbing a tree (or other means) should also be locked at night.  Even when you are awake, it only takes a moment for a criminal to enter through an open door or window.  Protect your property by keeping doors and windows that are not in your direct sight closed and locked!