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As spring winds down and summer starts to turn up the heat, being prepared for warmer weather is essential to a fun and relaxing summer! With outdoor activities, vacations, cookouts, and children out of school, making a hot weather safety checklist may be the last thing on your mind, so we wanted to offer some tips, tricks, and reminders to make sure you beat the heat this summer.

Ensure Your Home Can Handle Warmer Weather

When it comes to preparing for the summer heat, there’s no better place to start than at your home. Below you’ll find tips and tricks to stay comfortable without overworking your thermostat.

  • Replace air filters. Taking some preventative measures inside your home is a great way to be ready for those hot days headed your way! Check up on your air filter and consider replacing them early, so you don’t have to worry down the line.
  • Clean refrigerator coils. Having your refrigerator coils cleaned or replaced is a great precautionary step to take care of your food in the summer. If you’re having trouble cleaning your refrigerator coils, we recommend calling in the professionals!
  • Check/replace home insulation. Now is also a good time to check in on your home insulation. While new insulation can be added atop of the old insulation, your best bet would be to call in a professional if your attic looks in need of a refresh.
  • Install window covers. If your home is feeling warm, consider installing window coverings. High tech, heat resistant windows are great, but not everybody has the time/money to install them. Alternatives to these windows are black out curtains, window awnings, or outdoor window coverings. Remember to submit an ACC request first if you choose to make any exterior updates.

Establish a Lawncare Routine

Before tackling yard preparations, check your association’s governing documents to determine any lawn care rules. It is better to know and have a plan before going outside to work on your lawn.

Water during cooler hours. One of the most important steps is to ensure that your lawn is properly watered. To help grass and other plants maximize the water they are soaking up, try to water in the early morning or late evening when the heat is less likely to evaporate the water quickly.

Adjust your lawnmower.  We know you’ve worked hard all year to get your lawn polished and green! A great way to preserve your grass is by adjusting your mower to allow taller blades. This strategy helps grass develop deeper roots and shade itself from the sun.

Mulch your lawn. Did you know that mulch can act as an insulator for plants? Laying down mulch can act as a protective layer from the sun and it’s great for keeping plant roots alive and flourishing.

Don’t Forget Your Furry Friends

When temperatures rise, humans aren’t the only ones who struggle to stay cool. Here are some tips to ensure your pets can safely and comfortably enjoy warmer weather.

  • Don’t leave pets in the car.
    Your furry friends are important to you, make sure you’re taking care of them in the hottest months of the year. Don’t leave pets in the car/outside without cover. One alarming statistic from shows that the temperature inside a vehicle can reach 100F in 25 minutes when it is only 73F outside! Leaving your pet for even a few minutes can result in disastrous consequences.
  • Keep pets on leashes.
    Keep your dogs on leashes when taking them out for walks. It’s natural that pets take advantage of free reign to explore their surroundings, however, it is always recommended to keep your pups on a leash during their walks so everyone stays safe and happy!
  • Verify the safety of any summer plants.
    Make sure the plants in your garden are pet safe and won’t be hazardous to your furry friend. Beautiful summer plants like Aloe Vera, Azalea, and Daisies can be toxic to pets if ingested. Make sure to consider the toxicity levels to animals before curating your summer landscape.
  • Know the signs for heat stroke.
    If you do have outdoor pets or take your pets on walks throughout the day, make sure to know the signs for heat strokes in animals.
  • Heavy panting and unable to calm down
  • Deep red gums
  • Heightened pulse rate
  • Unable to get up/stand
  • Be Careful with Hot Pavement
    When it comes time to walking your dog, remember that their paw pads are also sensitive to warmer weather. If you find that the pavement is too hot for you to walk barefoot on it, it’s likely too warm for your pup as well.

Heat Advisory Tips

When temperatures hit extreme highs, it’s important to take extra precautions to stay cool and avoid the dangers that hot temperatures can bring.

Stay hydrated.

It might sound simple, but when living in hotter climate conditions, we often grow accustomed to the scorching temperatures. If you don’t have one, head over to the nearest store to you and pick up a water bottle to keep you hydrated on all your summer adventures!

Related: Organizing Your Communities Next Successful Garage Sale

Have an emergency plan/supply.

Have an emergency plan in place with a reliable cool down area, like a home or community building, and keep a go-bag at the ready. Supplies like batteries, flashlights, first aid kits, water bottles, handheld fans, and even heat stress packs are great in case of an emergency.

Also remember that Watch means be prepared, and Warning means take action!

Summer can be a fun filled time with lots of beautiful, sunny weather! Make sure you stay safe by taking a few necessary precautions, so your summer fun isn’t interrupted. For more information on staying cool and safe throughout the hottest days of the year, visit the American Red Cross website today!