Watching for Signs of Heat Stress Important During Current Heat Wave

SCE reminds its customers and employees to try and stay cool during periods of high heat.

September 11, 2014 | By Caroline Aoyagi-Stom @SCE_CarolineA

It’s been hot, but it’s about to get even hotter over the next several days. 

The National Weather Service is predicting a heat wave for both Los Angeles and Orange counties to last until the middle of next week, with temperatures in the mid-90s. The valleys are expected to see temperatures in the low 100s.

Southern California Edison (SCE) reminds its customers to watch out for signs of heat stress and heat-related illnesses during periods of high heat.

“With high temperatures predicted for the Southland over the next few days, we remind our field employees who are working out in the hot-weather conditions to do their best to stay cool,” said Don Neal, SCE director of Corporate Environmental, Health and Safety. “We believe reminding customers about being safe during hot weather is just as important, and to be sure to think about checking in on your elderly relatives and your neighbors.”

Heat stress occurs when the body is unable to cool itself, even through sweating. It is brought on by high temperatures, direct sun and limited air movement. Some of the early signs of heat stress include headaches, dizziness, weakness and confusion. Severe signs include fainting, seizures and the lack of sweating.

Some tips to avoid heat stress, include:

  • Block out direct sun or other heat sources. 
  • Use cooling fans or air conditioners.
  • Rest regularly. 
  • Drink lots of water.
  • Wear lightweight, light colored, loose-fitting clothes. 
  • Avoid caffeinated drinks or heavy meals. 

If you or someone you know is showing signs of heat stress, call for medical help immediately. You can also move the person to a cool area, give them some water and loosen any heavy clothing. 

With high temperatures, conserving energy is also key. Setting thermostats to no lower than 78 degrees and shutting lights when leaving a room can help reduce energy consumption. Some other tips include:

  • Using electric fans instead of air conditioning when practical.
  • Turning off unused appliances and equipment.
  • Avoid air-conditioner use when evaporative coolers or humidifiers are running.
  • Avoid operating energy-intensive appliances during early morning or evening hours.
  • Limiting how often you open your refrigerator door.

For more energy-conserving tips and programs, visit: