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Safety & emergency preparedness

Stay cool

Service overview

To stay cool during a Heat Health Emergency, visit cooling centers, pools, and spraygrounds. You can also call the Heatline at (215) 765-9040 for advice on staying cool or information on emergency services.

Tips to stay cool

Stay hydrated

  • Drink plenty of water. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink.
  • Avoid alcohol, caffeine, and sugary drinks.


  • Avoid working, exercising, or playing outside during the hottest part of the day (usually 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.)
  • Slow down. Rest in the shade or a cool place when you can.
  • Wear lightweight, light-colored, and loose-fitting clothes. Wear a wide-brimmed hat or use an umbrella for shade.

At home

  • Use air conditioners and fans. If you use a fan, make sure your windows are open to release trapped hot air.
  • Use drapes, shades, or awnings in your home. Outdoor awnings can reduce the heat that enters the home by up to 80 percent.
  • Take a cool shower or bath.
  • Visit a friend with air conditioning or spend time in a cool place like a mall, library, senior center, or cooling center. Even a few hours in air conditioning during the hottest part of the day can help your body recover.


  • Never leave older people, children, or pets alone in cars.
  • Check on older adults who live alone.

Fire Hydrants

Do not use fire hydrants to cool off, they are for fighting fires. According to the Philadelphia Water Department, opening hydrants to cool off decreases water pressure and makes it difficult for Philadelphia firefighters to do their jobs, plus it can damage water mains. If you see an open hydrant, call the Water Department’s Emergency line at (215) 685-6300.