Beating the Heat
A National Weather Service heat advisory is in effect through at least 7 p.m. Saturday, June 30.
- Cooling Centers
- American Red Cross, 1545 N. West Bypass
- Ozarks Technical Community College (Commons), 933 E. Central St.
- Salvation Army, 1707 W. Chestnut Expressway
- YMCA, 1901 E. Republic Road
- YMCA, 417 S. Jefferson Ave.
- Chesterfield Family Center lobby, 2511 W. Republic Road
- Doling Family Center lobby, 310 E. Talmage St.
- Mediacom Ice Park lobby, 635 E. Trafficway
- Extended Pool Hours
- Tips for Avoiding Heat Illness
- Drink plenty of water, even if you do not feel thirsty; avoid alcohol & caffeine. Also, avoid very cold drinks, because they can cause stomach cramps.
- Avoid strenuous work or exercise outside during the hottest part of the day. If that is not practical, take frequent breaks and remember to drink plenty of water.
- Stay in an air-conditioned facility; if your home is not air conditioned, visit a shopping center, public library, community center, cooling center or other air-conditioned facility.
- Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
- Protect yourself from the sun with a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses, and by putting on sunscreen with an SPF 15 or higher (the most effective products say "broad spectrum" or "UVA/UVB protection" on their labels).
- NEVER leave any person or pet in a closed, parked vehicle for any amount of time. On an 80-degree day, the temperature inside the vehicle can heat up to 109 degrees in just 20 minutes.
- Earlier Zoo Hours
- Beginning Friday, June 29, the giraffe deck will open at 9 a.m., at least for the duration of excessive heat, perhaps through the end of August.
- Beginning Saturday, June 30, continuing through Saturday Aug. 25, the admission gate will open every Saturday at 8 a.m.
- On days when the forecasted temperature (not heat index) is 100 degrees or warmer, the Zoo is offering a $1 discount on child and adult/teen admissions until 10 a.m.
Dangers of the Heat
The Springfield Fire Department, and other area fire departments, strongly recommend leaving fireworks to the professionals this year. Fire Chief David Hall recommends attending a community fireworks display instead of shooting consumer fireworks due to the extremely dry conditions and the dangers consumer fireworks pose.
Conditions such as those present in the Ozarks can lead to rapid fire development similar to the wildfires in Colorado and the Western United States.
Countless injuries and emergency room visits can be attributed to consumer fireworks. According to the National Fire Protection Association, in 2010, fireworks caused an estimated 15,500 reported fires, including 1,100 structure fires, 300 vehicle fires, and 14,100 outside and other fires.
Over the holiday period, the Springfield Fire and Police Departments will enforce the City's fireworks ordinance. All fireworks will be
confiscated and tickets may be issued.
Fire chiefs from around the area will be assembled for a press briefing at 1:30 PM at the Battlefield Fire District Headquarters, Monday, July 2, 2012. Headquarters is located at 4117 W. 2nd Street in Battlefield. The briefing will include the recommended safety practices for protection of property, along with a demonstration of the dangers consumer fireworks, if used. Demonstrations of the dangers of consumer fireworks combined with the dry conditions will be displayed.
Springfield Fire Department reminds citizens to use extreme care in discharging fireworks. Given the drought conditions and risk of uncontrolled fire, many counties are instituting burn bans and even recommending forgoing the fireworks this year. With these thoughts in mind, SFD provides the following tips:
- Remember, it is illegal to possess, manufacture, store, sell, handle or discharge fireworks within Springfield city limits.
- While sparklers are legal, they can be dangerous! Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees - hot enough to melt some metals.
- Keep a water source handy in case of fire or other mishap.
- Supervise children properly. Never allow them to play with or ignite fireworks. Educate them about the dangers of fireworks.
Air Quality Services has forecast a continued air quality level as Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups (USG) in the Orange Level range Wednesday through Sunday.
Under an Orange Level Alert, the following groups should limit prolonged outdoor exertion:
- People with lung disease, such as asthma
- Children and older adults
- People who are active outdoors
Health Risks due to Poor Air Quality (high ground level ozone)
- Irritation to respiratory system
- Reduced lung function
- Inflammation and damage to cells that line the lung
- Aggravating asthma and other lung diseases such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis
- Causing permanent lung damage
Ways to Limit Health Risks Due to Poor Air Quality
- Reduce the time you are active outdoors
- Schedule the activity for the morning or evening hours when ozone levels are usually lower.
- Avoid intense activities such as playing basketball or soccer outdoors chopping wood, heavy manual labor and vigorous running, cycling or hiking.
- Reduce vehicle emissions by carpooling, riding the bus and trip chaining (organizing errands to reduce unnecessary miles traveled). City Utilities reduces bus fares to $0.50 on Ozone Alert Days.
- Work from home (telecommute) if your employer offers such programs
- Put-off mowing your lawn. Air emissions from running an average gas-powered lawn mower for 1 hour is the equivalent of driving your car 200 miles. Simply mow your lawn during the evening hours of a non-alert day.
- Reduce vehicle and equipment idling.