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Health authorities offer safety tips as B.C. heat wave sets new record for peak electricity

Temperatures are expected to peak again Monday after multiple days of record-breaking heat
People dance at English Bay Beach amidst a heat wave, in Vancouver, B.C., on Monday, June 21, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Health authorities from around the province are warning people to stay safe as the province is expected to endure its fourth day of historically hot temperates on Monday (June 28).

A preliminary analysis from BC Hydro said that consumption reached 8,106 megawatts, which was more than 100 megawatts higher than new summer record that was set on Saturday. The energy company expects to hit yet another record Monday night as temperatures are expected to hit the high 30s and even into the 40 C range in many parts of the province. The heat record in the country was set in B.C.’s Interior with the Village of Lytton reaching 46.6 C.

READ MORE: Heat wave dubbed ‘dangerous,’ ‘historic,’ bakes much of Western Canada

BC Hydro said that there were a few things people could do to keep homes as cool as possible in this heat:

  • Closing drapes and blinds, which can block up to 65 per cent of the heat.
  • Keeping doors and windows shut to keep cooler air in and warm air out.
  • Using a fan, which costs just $7 a day to run
  • Purchasing Energy Star air conditioners, which they say use up to 40 per cent less power than other units.
  • Smaller appliances such as microwaves, crockpots or a toaster over to avoid the heat produced by larger appliances like the oven.

Fraser Health, the province’s largest health authority, also offered tips on how to spot the early warning sighs of heat stroke:

  • Dizziness and fainting
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Rapid breathing and heartbeat
  • Extreme thirst
  • Decreased urination with unusually dark urine
  • High body temperature
  • Lack of coordination.

While everyone should stay safe in the heat, Fraser Health said that some people are at higher risk including:

  • Older adults
  • Infants and young kids
  • People with chronic illnesses including cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, renal disease or psychiatric illness
  • People who are physically impaired, especially those who are confined to bed, need assistances with daily living or have sensory or cognitive impairments.
  • People taking certain medications, including high blood pressure medicines, antidepressants, antipsychotics or Parkinson’s medication.
  • People who are socially disadvantaged due to low income, being homeless or living alone.
  • Newcomers to Canada.
  • Occupational groups who work out-doors or who have increased physical strain.
  • People who are physically active with increased physical strain with a reduced perception of risk.


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