Back to top

Head Advisory: Mayor Walsh urges caution during hot temperatures

September 7, 2015

Mayor's Office

Published by:

Mayor's Office

Mayor Martin J. Walsh is reminding residents to take precautions during the hot weather forecast for this week.

Information on heat safety tips can be found online at and by following @CityofBoston

"As this summer comes to a close, we are expecting rising temperatures over the next couples of days," said Mayor Walsh. "As we work to monitor the rising temperatures, to keep all of our residents and visitors safe, we ask the public to continue being vigilant - look after a neighbor, be it someone outdoors, or someone next door."

Mayor Walsh can declare a Heat Emergency once temperatures reach 90 degrees or higher for three or more consecutive days. During a Heat Emergency, cooling centers will be open across the City.

Residents can sign up for Alert Boston, the city's emergency notification system, to receive emergency alerts by phone, email or text. Sign up online. Residents are also encouraged to call 311 with any questions about available city services.  

Heat Safety:

Adults and children should use sunscreen containing an SPF-15 or higher and wear protective, loose fitting clothing, including long sleeve shirts and hats. The elderly, young children and those with chronic medical conditions are more susceptible to the effects of heat.

Always check in on family or neighbors who may be at risk of heat exhaustion or heat stroke as temperatures climb.

Children and pets should never be left alone in vehicles, even for short periods of times.

If you become lightheaded, confused, weak or faint, stop all activity and immediately find shade or a cool area to rest. If symptoms persist, call 911 immediately.

Limit outdoor activity to morning and evening hours. Rest often in shady areas and be extra cautious from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., when the sun's UV radiation is strongest. 

Drink plenty of fluids regardless of activity level. Avoid alcoholic beverages and liquids high in sugar or caffeine. 

Homeless individuals can become dehydrated rapidly due to a lack of access to water or shelter from the heat. If you observe someone who appears in distress, call 911 immediately.

If you have a child in your home, use child window guards in addition to screens on any open window on the second story or above. Falls are the leading cause of injury for children under the age of six. Information about low-cost window guards for Boston residents can be found here

Secure all window air conditioner units according to the manufacturer's specifications.  

Playground Safety:  

Children should always wear shoes on playgrounds because surfaces can become extremely hot and cause burns, even splash pads and spray decks.  

Outdoor Fires and Grilling:

No outdoor fires are allowed in Boston, including fire pits, chimineas and bonfires.

Charcoal grills must be on the ground and away from buildings. Keep in mind the wind and never leave unattended. When done, dispose of the ash in a metal container once completely out.

Propane tank grills are only allowed on first floor porches with steps to the ground. Do not place propane tank grills near air conditioners or up against a building. Make sure all connections are tight and never carry propane tanks into a home.

Grills should always be used in a well-ventilated area. 

Mosquitoes and Ticks:

If you are in a grassy or wooded area, apply a DEET containing repellent that will protect against mosquitoes AND ticks. Always check yourself, children and pets for ticks after returning indoors and remove attached ticks immediately using tweezers. Mosquito bites can spread West Nile virus (WNV) and Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), while attached ticks can spread Lyme disease.

Wear long sleeve shirts, long pants and socks to prevent mosquito bites. Limit your time outdoors between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active and apply an approved mosquito repellent. 

Places to stay cool:

Boston Centers for Youth & Families operates 17 pools and one beach for families looking to cool off in the summer heat.

To find the pool or beach nearest you, visit BCYF's website.