Heat Safety

What to do when your AC Goes Out

  • First Check these items:
    • Thermostat – Often the problem is as simple as the thermostat batteries going out or a malfunction.  Try changing the batteries or resetting your thermostat. 
    • Breaker – Check if the circuit breaker has been tripped. If so, reset it.  Keep in mind, if a breaker continues to trip, it may be a safety concern so call a professional electrician.
    • Drain Switch –
    • Air filter – Make sure the air filter on your AC or heating unit is changed regularly.  If its not, a malfunction can occur. 
  • Call your maintenance supervisor or professional electrician
  • To protect yourself from the heat
    • Use fans
    • Drink lots of water
    • Get out of the unit
    • Wear loose fitting light colored clothes
    • Turn off lights

Heat Exhaustion FAQs

Temperatures are rising, and the Houston Fire Department recommends that you keep cool, stay hydrated and know the signs of heat stroke.

Know the signs of heats stroke

Q. What is the difference between heat exhaustion and heat stroke?

A. Heat exhaustion is your body reacting to the excessive loss of water and salt contained in your sweat. Heat exhaustion is usually associated with heave activity or exertion. Symptoms of heat exhaustion include:

  • Profuse sweating
  • Paleness
  • Muscle cramps
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Weak but rapid pulse
  • Fainting
  • Cool, moist skin

If left untreated, heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke.

Heat Stroke occurs when the body’s temperature raises rapidly and is unable to cool down due to the failure of the sweating system. Body temperature may rise to 106 or higher within 10 minutes which can cause permanent disability like brain damage, organ failure or even death if emergency treatment is not provided. Heat stroke symptoms include:

  • Extremely high body temperature (above 103 F orally)
  • Red, hot, dry skin
  • No sweating
  • Very rapid, strong pulse
  • Throbbing headache
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Confusion
  • Unconsciousness

The elderly, children up to four years of age, those who are over-weight or suffering from reparatory or heart condition are particularly vulnerable to suffer from heat stroke and heat exhaustion.

More you can do to avoid heat related illnesses

  • Pay attention to the weather advisories.
  • Drink plenty of water or electrolyte replacement beverages.
  • Avoid drinks that contain caffeine, alcohol or large amounts of sugar. These drinks can result in dehydration by allowing the body to lose a large amount of fluids.
  • Take frequent breaks in the shade or an air conditioned facility when working or exercising outside.
  • Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing that permits the evaporation of perspiration. Also wear a wide-brimmed, loose-fitting hat that allows ventilation and helps protect from sunburn.
  • Take cool showers or baths during the day. Or visit your neighborhood pool for a cool swim.

If you know of an elderly person that might be at risk for a hear related illness, visit them on a regular basis during these hot months or have a friend or relative stop by and check on them.