Hot weather safety:
• Rest frequently in cool places if working outside.
• Wear lightweight and loose-fitting clothing.
• Know the signs of heat stroke and exhaustion.
• Drink plenty of water, even when not thirsty.
• Avoid caffeinated and alcoholic drinks.
• Be aware of upcoming temperature changes and updates.
• Don’t leave children or pets alone in enclosed vehicles.
• Find places to escape the heat, such as malls or libraries.
• Make sure animals have water and shade.
• Eat small meals and more often than usual.
• Avoid drastic temperature changes.
• Stay inside and avoid extreme exercise at the hottest part of the day.
Sources: National Weather Service, American Red Cross
Signs of heat exhaustion:
• Cool, moist, pale, ashen or flushed skin
Signs of heat stroke:
• High body temperature
• Red skin
• Changes in consciousness
• Rapid, weak pulse
• Rapid, shallow breathing
Source: American Red Cross
Hot weather fire safety:
Keep grass mowed, including around alleys.
Make sure compost piles aren’t near fences or anything flammable.
Stir compost piles to release heat and prevent spontaneous combustion
Carefully watch barbecues to prevent sparks.
Be extra careful with anything flammable when there’s a breeze.
Use an ashtray when smoking cigarettes.
Sources: Tacoma Fire Department, Washington State Patrol
Pierce County cooling stations:
• Tacoma Public Library branches (http://www.tacomapubliclibrary.org/Page.aspx?nid=3 )
• County library branches (http://www.piercecountylibrary.org/branches/branch-listing.htm )
• Sprinker Recreation Center, 14824 S. C St., Spanaway/Parkland, 5:30 a.m.-10 p.m. today and Friday.
• South Hill Mall, 3500 S. Meridian, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. today and Friday.
• Anderson Island Fire Department, 12207 Lake Josephine Blvd., 8 a.m.-4 p.m. today and Friday.n Fife Community Center 2111 54th Ave. E., 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. today and Friday.
• City of Buckley Multi Purpose Center, 811 East Main, 8 a.m.-3 p.m. today and Friday.
• Buckley Youth Activity Center, 251 River Ave. S., noon-7:30 p.m. today; noon-9:30 p.m. Friday.
• Mid County Community Center, 10205 44th Ave. E. in Tacoma, 8:30 a.m.-8 p.m. today, closed Friday.
• Steilacoom Community Center, 2301 Worthington St., 9 a.m.-8 p.m. today; 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday.
• Bonney Lake Senior Center, 19304 Bonney Lake Blvd., 8 a.m.-4 p.m. today and Friday.
• Chapel Hill Church, 7700 Skansie Ave., Gig Harbor, 9 a.m.-10 p.m. today; closed Friday.
• DuPont Public Safety Building EOC, 1780 Civic Drive, 1-10 p.m. today through Sunday.
Have a pet?
These locations allow people and their domesticated pets to get out of the heat. Pets must be on a leash or in a crate, and owners must provide water if they are in the store for long periods of time.
• All Lowe’s home improvement stores in Pierce County, 6 a.m.-10 p.m.
• All PetSmart stores in Pierce County, 9 a.m.-9 p.m.
• VCA Animal Hospital, 10324 Pacific Ave. S. in Tacoma, open 24 hours a day.
Sources: Pierce County Emergency Management, City of Tacoma
Additional information on hot weather personal safety is available at the Tacoma Pierce County Health Department website, http://www.tpchd.org/news.php?nid=693.