Health
Thursday, July 11, 2002
Take steps to keep cool in heat

As hot weather settles upon our area, the Delaware Electric Cooperative, Greenwood, is offering ideas to help consumers save energy and keep themselves safe:
  • Check on elderly friends and relatives, particularly if they live alone, to make sure they have fans or an air conditioners. The elderly are especially susceptible to the dangers of high temperatures.
  • Drink plenty of water. Avoid alcohol and caffeine which can further dehydrate your body.
  • Take a cool shower. Water conducts heat away from the body much faster than air.
  • Close drapes during the hottest part of the day to block heat and save energy.
  • Turn off lights when not using them. They raise the temperature of your home.
  • Central cooling systems work more efficiently if interior doors and vents are left open so that air circulates more freely.
  • Clear attic vents. Make sure attic fans and thermostats are functioning properly.
  • Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, and light-colored clothing.
  • Use fans to circulate air. Without air conditioning, fans are essential to keep your home cool. With air conditioning, fans allow you to raise the thermostat and save energy while keeping you cool.
  • Avoid cooking during the hottest time of the day. A microwave keeps a kitchen cooler and saves energy.
  • Eat light. Soup and fruit help replenish fluids and don’t increase the body’s metabolic rate as much as meats or heavier foods.
  • Stay indoors as much as possible. Try not to work or exercise outside during the hottest part of the day, and stop immediately at the first sign of fatigue, light-headedness, or profuse sweating.

“Intense heat waves can be more than just uncomfortable, they can be deadly,” said co-op spokesman Rob Book. “These tips are easy ways to protect yourself and loved ones from dangerous temperature levels. I would recommend sharing these ideas with others so that everyone can weather this heat wave a little bit easier.” Delaware Electric Co-op is a member-owned electric utility, serving 62,000 Kent and Sussex County consumers. For more information visit its website at www.delawareelectric.coop.