Heat related dangers claiming human and pet lives

Thursday, June 24, 2021

National Weather Service Seattle

By Diane Hettrick

Probably the people who need to see this and change their behavior will either not see it or ignore it. But I feel compelled to say it anyway.

There have been many terrible local stories recently.


The first was a young man who died rescuing another person in a river. Rivers are dangerous for swimming - currents and cold temperatures. The rescuer saved the person he went in after, and then died.

Windows and toddlers

Hot weather - open windows - toddler falls. UW Harborview Hospital's pediatric trauma unit reports they have treated five children in the past few weeks for window falls and one child died. Every year they treat about 50 children who fall from windows. Go to a hardware store and get locks or screens now and install them before another child is injured.

Wear life vests when you are on the water

They just located the body of a man who died in Lake Washington. I believe he's the third lake death in the last couple of weeks. All our fire departments are training for water rescues - and more often body recoveries.

One that was particularly sad was the 32 year old dad who took his boys out on Father's Day. One of the children fell out of the boat. The dad went in after him and died. The children were wearing life vests and were rescued by someone else.

Dogs in cars

People think they are being responsible by opening the windows and leaving water for their dogs. But the cars still heat up. At 75 degrees outside the car interior will be 94 degrees within 10 minutes and 109 degrees within 30 minutes.


Fireworks are illegal everywhere. All the nearby cities ban them. Both Snohomish county and King county now ban fireworks in unincorporated areas. But people still buy them. Every year some guy (always guys) loses a couple of fingers because he was lighting fireworks and throwing them from a car. He either holds it too long or drops it in the car and scrambles to pick it up.

Fireworks and fires

You don't have to be in central Washington to start a brush fire. Every year we have fires in the dead grass along the freeway. One year the wind actually blew sparks across the freeway near Northgate and there were fires on both sides. When the fire climbs up the hillside, there are homes to burn.


Now with the high temperatures, we have to be concerned about heatstroke, particularly of older citizens. Here's a whole list of tips from King county emergency services


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