Jun 19, 2012
Knowing the signs of heat stress and taking preventive measures are key as sweltering temperatures move into the PPL Electric Utilities service territory as expected Wednesday and Thursday.
“As an electric utility, many of our employees work outside so we need to be vigilant about the effects of the heat,” said Barry Downes, manager of Health and Safety for PPL Electric Utilities. “By the same token, we want our customers, their families and friends also to be careful and be able to recognize heat illness warning signs early enough to take proactive steps before serious complications occur.”
Heat stroke, heat exhaustion and heat cramps can affect anyone, but can be especially dangerous for older adults, children, people with chronic medical conditions and people who take certain medications. According to the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration, heat also increases the risk of injuries because of factors including sweaty palms and dizziness.
And don’t forget that heat illness can happen both indoors and out.
Heat-related health problems surface when the body loses water and salt through sweating and in serious cases, like heat stroke, loses its ability to regulate its core temperature. Signs of heat stroke include confusion, loss of consciousness and seizures. High body temperatures can lead to brain or organ damage.
Heat stroke can be deadly. If you suspect someone is suffering from heat stroke, call 911 immediately.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the primary way to prevent heat illness is with air conditioning, and the CDC urges the public to seek out those cooler places — shopping malls, libraries or public cooling centers — if you don’t have home air conditioning.
The CDC also advises people to stay informed about weather conditions and drink plenty of cool, non-alcoholic beverages as part of stepped-up fluid intake.
Heat waves also bring high electric use, and PPL Electric Utilities reminds its customers that there are many no-cost and low-cost ways to save on their bills.
Some tips include:
Extreme heat also can significantly drive up electric bills. Customers having financial difficulties can call 1-800-342-5775 or visit www.pplelectric.com/billhelp to find out about programs that can help.
“We urge customers who may be in a financial bind to call us to discuss how we can help them maintain uninterrupted electric service. We’re here to help,” said Bob Geneczko, vice president of customer services.
PPL Electric Utilities, a subsidiary of PPL Corporation (NYSE: PPL), provides electric delivery services to about 1.4 million customers in Pennsylvania and has consistently ranked among the best companies for customer service in the United States. More information is available at www.pplelectric.com.