Workers, asthma sufferers and pet owners have been warned to prepare for a forecast 35 degree day in Orange this Friday – our hottest in more than two years.
Experts have warned people to stay out of the heat, advised asthma sufferers to use their preventatives, urged outdoor workers to take regular breaks and called on pet owners not to leave their animals in cars.
At this time of year hot weather can trigger asthma.
The temperature has reached 33 degrees in Orange twice this week and only dropped to 18 degrees twice.
Bureau of Meteorology figures show the hottest day last year was January 13 when it reached 34.4 degrees while the hottest day in 2015 was 33.1 degrees.
It reached 37.9 degrees in December, 2014 while Orange’s hottest day since the weather station opened at Orange airport in 1996 was 38.1 degrees in January 2013.
Asthma Australia Chief Executive Officer Michele Goldman said heat, air pollution and rising pollen levels were triggers of asthma.
“At this time of year hot weather can trigger asthma,” she said.
Mrs Goldman said sufferers should used their preventatives and monitor signs including a tight chest and extra coughing.
“Everyone’s been on holiday and everyone’s out of their normal routine of using daily preventatives.
“People are more blase around taking the medication at this time of the year,” Mrs Goldman said.
Asthma rates in Western NSW region, including Orange, are above average.
The latest NSW Health statistics show that 15.2 per cent of adults and 15.7 per cent of children in the region were asthma sufferers compared to the state average of 10.4 per cent.
SafeWork NSW has warned employers must provide safe workplaces to prevent workers suffering heat stress or heat illness.
Executive director Peter Dunphy said there was no temperature limit at which workers should stop work but he said businesses needed to have heat plans in place.
“Outdoor workers and those working in hot environments such as roof spaces or other confined areas are most at risk. Businesses should set realistic workloads and work schedules and provide shaded rest areas and regular breaks.
The RSPCA has warned owners not leave dogs unattended in cars and provide water and shade as they can suffer heat stress and die within six minutes.