Gympie worker Sam Bourke cools down while on site with employer James Hall Plumbing and Gas. Soaring temperatures this week have caught many offguard after a mild December.
Gympie worker Sam Bourke cools down while on site with employer James Hall Plumbing and Gas. Soaring temperatures this week have caught many offguard after a mild December. Renee Pilcher

Hot temps could boil an egg

AS the mercury rises today to near boiling point, spare a thought for outdoor workers in the sun and heat.

The effects of excessively hot and uncomfortable weather should not be underestimated. With temperatures looking to climb above 37 degrees today, it is more important than ever to prepare for excessive heat to ensure we stay safe and well during these times.

Outdoor workers undertaking tasks in the sun for a long period of time without adequate breaks, shade or water can face serious dehydration and heat exhaustion that can develop into heat stroke, which can be fatal.

During the 20th century, heatwaves caused more deaths in this country than any other natural hazard. And with global warming resulting in rising temperatures and common extreme weather circumstances, summer heatwaves have become a part of life in Australia.

Hot conditions also lead directly to significant increases in demand for electricity to power domestic air-conditioners and fans. This can exceed the available capacity of the generating system, leading to load shedding - which in turn exacerbates the impact on people.

To avoid heat-related stress, drink plenty of water, stay in the shade, take regular cool showers and use air-conditioners and fans.

Wear light, loose clothes and stay out of the sun between 11am and 3pm when it is at its strongest.

 

DID YOU KNOW?

  • Ceiling fans are notorious for catching fire and for that reason you should never leave them on when you are not home.
  • Ceiling fans left on low settings have the potential to cause a fire. Many fans depend on air flow for cooling, and when left on low they overheat. If it gets hot enough the motor can fail electrically and blow a spark.
  • Fan motors have coils in them and if not in perfect alignment the charge of electricity going through the coils have the potential to burn.
  • Many electrical fires are caused by dirty appliances. While breadcrumbs in a toaster do not transfer current, they can be a fire hazard. The same is true of a bathroom fan that has not been cleaned for many years.
  • Overloading extension cords or running several fixtures from a single outlet can all equally cause short circuits and fires.
  • Dishwashers, dryers or washing machines should always be plugged directly into an outlet. An overload in a dryer, for instance, can produce enough heat to melt or set fire to a lightweight extension cord.
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