W e have just experienced our warmest days of spring 2017. As the heat rises, what do we need to be mindful of? The...

W e have just experienced our warmest days of spring 2017. As the heat rises, what do we need to be mindful of? The medical problems that come from high temperature and humidity will be much more prevalent than the fire problem, but we must consider both. With higher temperatures comes a greater workload on air conditioners, fans, and electrical systems in general. I will try to walk us through a few of these things that will, hopefully, prevent a fire and keep you and your family safe.

Concerning your air conditioning units, they need a proper level of refrigerant and a fresh filter. Refrigerant levels and electrical or mechanical issues will have to be addressed by a certified HVAC technician. It is better to have your unit checked prior to a long stretch of hot days. Another means of cooling are box fans or ceiling fans. These might need to be vacuumed. Fans that are not working properly need to be replaced whether on the floor or ceiling.

Where ventilation is required, make sure that vents are open and ventilation systems are working properly. High temperatures cause equipment to heat up just due to the ambient temperature. If a problem occurs, overheating will occur much faster. Whenever assessing an electrical issue, everything is energized unless proven to be off by an electrical tester. Even though you know that the proper breaker has been turned off, check what you are working on anyway.

This may seem like it is coming from left field, but remember not to leave pets, children, or the elderly in any vehicle that is not running and properly supervised on any type of day, much less a hot day. We will hear tragic stories of children that will die due to be left in a hot vehicle. Do not let this happen!

Concerning your residence, apartment, or workplace, make sure that you have an adequate number of properly working smoke alarms. Test your smoke alarms once a month. When you get to your vacation spot, make sure that smoke alarms are in place and test them if applicable. Remember, your beach or mountain house can experience the same issues as your home, maybe even more so, due to excessive use. Hope you have a safe rest of spring and summer.