The City of Vancouver has again partnered with Vancouver Coastal Health and the BC Center for Disease Control to ask residents to track and report their indoor temperatures during warmer weather. Starting with the 2021 Heat Dome, this survey collected data to inform regulations and policy updates, along with programs to protect residents and provide more public cooling spaces, as heat events are expected to become more frequent.
Take the survey
Residents are invited to participate in an online survey before September 10 to share:
- the indoor temperature of their home on hot days;
- Information about the characteristics of the building in which they live;
- Barriers they experience in cooling indoors or outdoors in hot weather.
The survey takes about six minutes to complete and indoor temperature can be measured using a digital wall thermostat, free-standing thermometer, food thermometer or a standard manual thermometer. Respondents are encouraged to record temperatures in the afternoon or evening when indoor temperatures are at their highest.
Heat can have dangerous effects on human health, especially for people exposed to continuous high temperatures without effective cooling options.
Since the indoor temperature survey began in 2021, nearly 6,000 residents from Vancouver have provided the following findings:
- Residents use a wide range of cooling techniques, but still have an impact on daily life.
- For many, accessing opportunities to cool off outdoors is essential.
- There are many barriers to staying safe and cool indoors and out in hot weather.
- Concerns about climate change are increasing, and these concerns are heightened during periods of extreme heat.
This year’s survey is expected to be the last in the series.
Tips to keep calm
During extreme heat conditions, outdoor and indoor temperatures are above seasonal norms. Indoor temperatures between 26-31 degrees Celsius are dangerous for some. If the indoor temperature is above 31 degrees Celsius, people are recommended to go to an air-conditioned place.
Hot weather, especially extreme heat events, can cause illnesses such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke. It is important to recognize the symptoms of heat exhaustion. External website, opens in new tab They are a sign that immediate measures to cool down are needed. Symptoms of heat stroke are a medical emergency and people should seek medical attention or call 9-1-1.
When it’s very hot, people are recommended to stay hydrated and spend time in air-conditioned spaces or visit public cooling centers if they can’t cool their homes. There are over 200 permanent fountains throughout Vancouver, with additional temporary fountains added during the summer. Misting stations keep people cool and are available 24/7.
We all have a role to play by checking on family, neighbors and friends. This includes socially isolated adults; people with chronic health conditions, including mental health conditions that put them at greater risk; Low-income people; and people with disabilities, including mobility impairments.
- Check and find cool spots or get the most up-to-date information: https://vancouver.ca/hot-weather
- For timely updates, follow the City’s social media channels @CityofVancouver
Although BC is considered more temperate than the rest of Canada, the province has already experienced the impacts of climate change with extreme weather events, including the 2021 heat dome. The BC Coroner’s Service confirmed that high temperatures were responsible for 619 heat-related deaths in BC between June 25 and July 1, 2021, with 98 per cent occurring indoors.
In Vancouver, climate change-induced increases in the number, intensity, and duration of heat events can be expected. As we continue to experience hot, dry summers, the City is working with partners to effectively mitigate overheating in partner buildings.
To learn more, visit: https://vancouver.ca/extreme-weather
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