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COH public safety summer campaign

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New Public Safety Campaign: "Look Before You Lock"

and Other Tips to "Beat the Heat"

The Houston Fire Department (HFD) and State Farm Insurance are partnering to bring attention to children left in hot cars by cautioning drivers to "Look Before You Lock!" Take some simple steps to avoid a deadly disaster.

  • Place an item such as a stuffed animal in the front passenger seat to remind you that your child is in the back seat
  • Put something that you will need when you leave the vehicle such as a cell phone or purse in the back seat as another reminder that you have a passenger in the back

Nationwide, since 1998, an average of 38 children per year have died due to hyperthermia with 33 cases in 2011 due directly to children locked in overheated cars. It doesn't take long. If the temperature outside is only 80? the interior of the car can reach 99? in only ten minutes. Car interiors can easily reach temperatures of 180-200 degrees (F) and cracking the windows has no effect in this extreme heat.

In addition to "Look Before You Lock!", HPD encourages precautions to "Beat the Heat" and avoid heat related illnesses such a heat exhaustion or heat stroke.

  • Limit your outdoor activity in the hottest parts of the day; stay inside if possible during the heat-intensive afternoon hours and if you have to work outdoors take frequent breaks in the shade or an air conditioned area
  • Keep hydrated and drink plenty of water and electrolyte replacement beverages; avoid caffeinated and sugary drinks and alcoholic beverages
  • If you are concerned about your air conditioning costs, talk to your electric provider to discuss possible payment plans
  • Go to a mall, library or other air conditioned facility during the hottest parts of the day
  • Take care of your pets during the summer heat; provide shade and plenty of fresh water if they stay outside
  • Know the signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke and if you get over heated take a cool shower or bath if possible

For a complete list of tips to help you "Beat the Heat", visit www.houstontx.gov/fire/safety/summersafety.html. To learn more about HFD, visit www.houstontx.gov/fire.

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