Canberra city in sunny weather

Take care of yourself and those around you during periods of extreme heat.

18 December 2019

With temperatures expected to reach the 40s in Canberra this week, we all need to take steps to take care of ourselves and those around us.

Don’t sweat it alone!

Intense periods of heat can be extremely dangerous for anyone, but particularly for those in our community who are most vulnerable. Children, the elderly and animals can find it difficult to keep cool.

It’s important to check on your loved ones and neighbours during intense heat periods, with local shops, libraries, and waterways providing free refuge from the heat.

You’re never too cool to wear sun protection

In summer it’s more important than ever to stay cool – and we’re not talking ‘cool’ like Tom Cruise in Top Gun. Sunburn doesn’t look good on anyone, and every single case of sunburn can increase the risk of skin cancer.

Ensure you stay hydrated, wear protective clothing and sunscreen, limit physical activity, avoid excessive alcohol and sugary drinks and stay out of the sun during the hottest part of the day.

Staying safe in periods of intense heat is especially critical in trades or industries where workers are in the direct sun.

Less ‘summertime sadness’ and more ‘ice, ice, baby’

If someone is feeling unwell in the heat, help them find shade and make sure you know the signs of heat stress. Muscle cramps, dizziness, headache, nausea, fainting, excessive sweating or no sweating and loss of concentration are just a few of the danger signs. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s vital to seek medical attention.

If you or your workmates are struggling in excessive heat, don't stall – talk to your supervisor immediately and seek treatment if required. Call Emergency Triple Zero (000) for an ambulance if you or someone else is showing signs of heat stress.

For more information on summer safety and preventing heat-related illness, visit:

Be fire ready

The ACT can experience extreme fire danger over summer, and dry conditions in and around the Territory mean there is increased risk this summer.
Be aware of and abide by total fire bans and take a few minutes to make or update a bushfire survival plan for your household.
For the latest fire rating, a fire danger forecast and a bushfire plan template, visit

All Canberra

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