Staying cool and safe in heat

Is it the hottest day since records began? The papers always seem to think so, and in weather like this it’s easy to believe them.  So we’ve put together this handy guide for staying cool and safe at home or in the car and we’ve even thrown in some tips for keeping your pets chilled.

Healthy Home

Summer can be a great time for burglars. Open windows everywhere, back doors lying open while people nap in the garden and more people spending their evenings out and about, possibly leaving an unsecure home empty for hours. The Office for National Statistics found that in 2017, incidents of domestic burglary where the thief entered the home, the offender gained entry through a door around 70% of the time and through a window around 30% of the time. But you can help to stop a burglar in their tracks with these simple tips, provided by Suffolk Police.

  • Lock all doors and take the keys with you when leaving the house. It might seem obvious, but it’s the easier way to keep your home safe.
  • Enjoying a back garden BBQ? Keep your front door locked. An opportunistic burglar can pop in and out without being noticed.
  • Close all windows when leaving the house and lock the downstairs ones. If they’re key operated, take the keys out of the locks and put them away.
  • You can use window limiters to make it harder for someone to climb in, while still getting some air into the house. Use them even when you’re at home.
  • If your home has a window that’s easily accessible from a flat roof, be sure it has a lock installed.
  • Lock your back gates! Suffolk Police recommend a closed shackle padlock, no less than CEN3-4 security grade or 5 lever lock.
  • Timer switches on your lights can make your home look lived in, even if you’re enjoying a summer night out on the town. This makes your home less attractive to a burglar.
  • Don’t keep wheelie bins next to gates or fences, in a pinch, a thief can use these to escape the garden.
  • Keep all tools locked away securely, as they could be used to break windows or glass in doors. Similarly, ladders should never be left out.

Cool Car

Opening your car door and feeling like you’re stepping into a sauna isn’t much fun. We asked our lovely social community for their advice on keeping your car cool.

“Aircon on for 2 mins before u get in, its like a freezer” Matthew on Facebook
  • Taking time to prepare for your journey can really pay off. Members of our social community recommended running the air con for a few minutes before getting into the car, to give everything a chance to cool down. Please remember to stand with your car while you do this though, as leaving your car alone with the keys in the ignition could have unexpected consequences!

  • Get going faster by keeping a tea towel over the steering wheel while you aren’t driving. @thecheshirewife swears by this tip to keep her steering wheel cool and her hands comfortable!
“Put it in some shade or under cover.” David on Facebook
  • If you can, park your car in the shade. It’ll probably still be warm, but you’ll avoid the intense heat of the direct sunshine.
“A white bed sheet over the windscreen works for me..” Sam on Facebook
  • Keep things simple with a white bedsheet to keep the car interior cool or pick up a reflective windscreen cover.

Of course, if you’re only going a short way and fancy enjoying the sun, you could always follow our community member Cindy’s advice:

“Leave it at home and walk.” Cindy on Facebook

Protected Pets

Our pets are members of the family, so we want to know that they’re comfortable and happy at all times. They may be wearing a permanent fur coat, but you can keep them cool with these easy tips, provided by the Blue Cross.

    • Make sure your pet has access to clean, cold water at all times. This might mean changing their water more often, or if you’re going to be out all day, leaving a few ice cubes in their water bowl.
    • Take dogs for their walk during cooler parts of the day such as early morning or late evening, and try to keep energetic play to those times as well, for cats and dogs.
    • Buy an electric fan and keep it at floor level. Cats and dogs will enjoy lying in front of it.
    • Make treats and toys cooling by freezing your pet’s favourite treats into an ice cube or wrapping a frozen bottle of water in a tea towel for them to lie with.
    • Keep your pets well groomed, especially if they’re long haired as this will help to keep them cool.
    • Paws are very sensitive. A good rule of thumb is that if the pavement is too hot for your hand, it’ll be too hot for delicate paws. If you need to take your dog out during the hottest times of the day you can buy pet booties for them. Try to keep outdoor cats inside during these times too.
    • Never leave a dog in a hot car as temperatures can rise dramatically and cause real damage to your pet.
    • Finally, be aware of the signs of heatstroke. Dribbling, excessive panting and collapse can be seen in both cats and dogs. It’s really important that you move fast, as heatstroke can kill. Move your pet to a cool place, dampen their coat with cold (never freezing) water and contact your vet immediately. 

We hope you have a wonderful and make the post of the sunshine. If you have a tip for chilling out that we’ve missed, join the conversation on Facebook or Twitter.