Even during a relatively cool summer 1 in 5 homes are likely to overheat. Some people are particularly vulnerable to heat and for them a hot home can worsen existing health conditions or even kill.

At risk groups include older people, especially over 75 years of age, children, especially under 4 years of age, those who live alone and/or are socially isolated, those with a long-term health condition, particularly heart and breathing problems, people on multiple medications, those with reduced mobility, those who find it difficult to adapt their behaviour in warmer weather (for example, due to dementia or alcohol/drug misuse), and those who are at home during the day such as small children or home workers.

Key messages are as follows:

  • Keep in touch – look after yourself, older people and the young. Listen to the weather forecast and the news. Plan ahead to avoid the heat.
  • Keep well – drinks plenty of fluids and avoid excess alcohol. Dress appropriately for the weather and slow down when it’s hot.
  • Find somewhere cool – know how to keep your home cool, go indoors or outdoors, whichever feels cooler, cars get hot so try and avoid enclosed spaces.
  • Watch out – be on the lookout for signs of heat related illness, cool your skin with water, slow down, drink water, stay safe when swimming.

Get help. Call NHS 111 or in an emergency dial 999.