ST. GEORGE, Utah – Air conditioners were blowing full blast in St. George Friday. The National Weather Service predicted temperatures between 108 and 115. People are doing what they can to say cool, but cities are warning residents to stay safe and conserve energy.
Washington County Emergency Services director Pete Kulhmann says it’s a bit early for such extreme heat. Saturday is expected to be the same, so Kulhmann says it’s important to take extra precaution.
“It’s good for people to stay indoors for the hottest part of the day,” says Kulhmann. “Make sure they’re hydrated, drink plenty of fluids.”
For many, though, triple degree temperatures means cranking up the A/C and pulling out the water hose, but utility directors say it’s important to conserve energy as much as possible.
“As much as we plan, we know our customer’s demands are going to be high,” says St. George Conservation Coordinator Rene Fleming. “And although we would like to stay out of the market pricing, we will have to buy some from the market. The market knows it’s hot, demand is high, therefore the prices rise.”
Tips to conserve energy include:
- Avoid using electricity during peak hours (2-8 p.m.), especially large appliances.
- When air conditioning is used, set thermostats at 78 degrees or higher (if health permits).
- Cook in a microwave oven or on an outdoor grill instead of using the electric oven.
- Turn off all unnecessary lights and electronic equipment.
- Avoid high electrical uses during the peak hours of the day. Run the dishwasher and laundry equipment during non-peak hours.
- Operate swimming pool pumps during non-peak hours. You can save energy while maintaining water quality and temperature by using a smaller, higher-efficiency pump and operating it less.
- Commercial customers are asked to reduce lighting load by 50 percent where possible.
Additional tips can be found on the city’s conservation webpage: http://www.sgcity.org/wp/conservation/
Washington County Emergency Services offers the following tips to stay safe in the extreme heat:
- Use air conditioners or spend time in air-conditioned locations such as malls and libraries
- Use portable electric fans to exhaust hot air from rooms or draw in cooler air
- Take a cool bath or shower
- Minimize direct exposure to the sun
- Stay hydrated – regularly drink water or other nonalcoholic fluids
- Eat light, cool, easy-to-digest foods such as fruit or salads
- Wear loose fitting, light-colored clothes
- Check on older, sick, or frail people who may need help responding to the heat
- Know the symptoms of excessive heat exposure and the appropriate responses.
- Direct the flow of portable electric fans toward yourself when room temperature is hotter than 90°f
- Leave children and pets alone in cars for any amount of time
- Drink alcohol to try to stay cool
- Eat heavy, hot, or hard-to-digest foods
- Wear heavy, dark clothing.