Beat the heat in apartment buildings
The very young, pregnant women and older adults are at greatest risk of developing heat-related illness on extremely hot and humid days.
High heat and humidity can be a threat to your health, especially if you live in a building that does not have adequate cooling.
Those at greatest risk include:
- babies and young children
- people who work or exercise outdoors
- people taking certain medications
- older adults
- people with chronic illnesses or conditions (such as heart or breathing conditions, limited physical mobility, and certain mental health illnesses)
- pregnant women
What landlords can do:
- provide an air-conditioned “cooling centre” in the building
- keep windows in hallways slightly open to allow air to circulate
- use fans to draw in cool air at night, but do not rely on a fan as a primary cooling device during extended periods of excessive heat
- hand out heat safety information to residents in the building and post the information in common areas of the building — for example, by the elevator or in the lobby
- encourage building staff to check on at-risk residents every few hours
What tenants can do:
- go to an air-conditioned or a cooler place for relief, such as a library, community centre, shopping mall, or a friend’s place
- take a cool bath or shower
- cool down by placing towels dipped in cool water on your neck or underarms
- drink lots of water even if you don’t feel thirsty
- avoid drinks made with alcohol or caffeine
- slow down, take it easy, and rest as much as possible
- don’t overexert yourself
- keep electric lights off or turned down low
- keep windows open slightly to allow air to circulate
- keep curtains drawn on the sunny side of your apartment or room
Keep children safe during hot weather and limit the time they spend outdoors during the hottest part of the day.
Did you know?
Fans don’t cool air. They just move the air around.
- use a fan to bring in the cooler air through a window
- plug your fan directly into the wall outlet, or use a CSA (Canadian Standards Association) approved extension cord
- don’t use a fan in a room without windows or doors open to the outside
This item was last modified on June 12, 2015