DENVER — As temperatures near the triple digits Friday and Saturday around Denver, the city will open cooling centers to give residents a break from the intense heat.
The National Weather Service issued a heat advisory for the Denver region due to temperatures near 100 degrees both Friday and Saturday. These conditions can cause heat illnesses, which is a particular risk to people 65 years old and up, children younger than 2 years old, and people with chronic diseases or mental illness. Heat illnesses can be dangerous and in some circumstances, fatal.
Symptoms of heat illnesses includes red or itchy skin, muscle pain or cramps, shallow breathing, elevated body temperature, a weak but quick pulse, nausea or vomiting and diarrhea, dizziness, or fainting, according to Denver Public Health & Environment.
Denver Parks and Recreation will open all recreation centers that are currently operating as cooling stations during their regular business hours. Access is free. In addition, several Denver Public Library locations are open as public indoor reprieves from the heat. The Central Library, Ross-Cherry Creek Branch Library, and Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library are not included in this, the city said.
People experiencing homelessness can seek refuge in overnight and day shelters, which are geared toward both individuals and families, the city said. Click here to find a shelter.
Denver Public Health & Environment said air conditioning is the best way to protect yourself from the heat.
It recommends the following actions to reduce the risk of heat illnesses:
- Stay in air-conditioned buildings as much as possible
- Drink more water than usual throughout the day
- To cool off, take a cold shower or bath. Fans do not prevent heat-related illness
- Avoid using the stove or oven to cook — it will make your home hotter
- Don’t drink beverages that contain caffeine or alcohol
- Limit activities outside, especially in the afternoon. If you must be outside, use and reapply sunscreen, take breaks from your activity, and wear loose and lightweight clothing (including a hat)
Parents should also check the temperature of playgrounds before allowing children to play on slides and other synthetic surfaces that retain heat.
In addition, the city is reminding residents to keep their pets safe and to never leave them alone in a car.
The Denver Animal Protection said if a owner believes their pet has heatstroke, they should do the following:
- Move the animal to shade or a cooler area
- Cool it down with water or ice packs on the stomach only. Do not dunk the pet in water.
- Offer cool drinking water, but do not force-feed it
- Don’t cover, crate, or confine the animal
- Even if your pet seems to be feeling better, take it to an emergency veterinarian
- If you see a pet in a hot car, you can help by breaking a window but only if:
- The animal appears to be in imminent danger or close to death
- The vehicle is locked
- The driver can't be located after a reasonable effort
- You contact the Denver Police Department (720-913-2000), Denver Fire (720-913-3474) or Denver Animal Protection (720-913-2080) before breaking the window. You can also call 311 to reach any of these departments
- You do not use more force than necessary to free the animal
- You remain at the scene with the animal until police or Denver Animal Protection arrive
- These steps will grant you legal immunity, according to the city’s good Samaritan law
Denver has had four days at or above 100 degrees this year and 32 days of 90 degrees or higher.
A weak cold front will slip into Colorado over the weekend. Expect slightly lower temperatures and a better chance for some thunderstorms after Saturday afternoon.
This cooler weather will continue early next week with highs staying in the 80s and a better chance for showers and thunderstorms.