Reporting Bud Gillett
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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Tuesday marks the hottest day of the year and the earliest DFW Airport hit 106º since the dreaded, scorched days of 1980.
The skyrocketing temperatures put stress on our cooling systems, both in our bodies and in the machines we use.
“You can work for an hour and you feel like you’ve worked a whole day,” said Abel Munoz of Abel’s Tree Service.
Munoz’s crew may work in the shade, but that’s no insurance against the heat. Water is still their best friend.
“If I see one of them, the heat is getting to them? I tell them sit down and take a break for a minute,” Munoz said. Or, if they get completely overcome he sends them home.
A wise precaution –– Dallas Fire-Rescue says while it doesn’t keep records specifically on heat-related ambulance runs, it’s not getting a high number of calls for “environmental issues,” a category where heatstroke falls.
The Dallas County Medical Examiner reports no heat-related deaths. There were 31 total in the county in 2011, according to statistics provided by the Dallas County Health and Human Services department.
“I make sure this type of job here we’re not taking any risks at that height,” says Michael Morales, who, with his co-worker, scale to the top of roofs to install Direct-TV satellite systems.
It’s not an area where you want to make a bad, heat-related mistake. They constantly re-hydrate, with an emphasis on replacing electrolytes, and use a buddy system to spot for each other.
“He told me to make sure to get me some water, he hadn’t seen me taking any water, so he’s definitely a good spotter on that,” Munoz said.
Our bodies aren’t the only things that overheat. So do our cars, if not maintained properly. Jesus Hernandez was able to nurse his back to life with a little water.
Pervez Virani of P.F. Automotive hasn’t seen many engine failures yet, but has had to save some car air conditioning systems. He argues against do-it-yourselfers trying to recharge car Freon on their own because AC systems require such a delicate balance.
“Basically, it’s like a balloon that’s got air in their already,” said Virani. “And if you put too much air in there, it’s going to burst.”
All in all, summer isn’t a week old, but it’s already worn out its welcome. Keep in mind, in 2011, this area reached temperatures higher than 105º 19 times.
“I’m a winter man,” says TV tech Morales. “I’m looking forward to the snow again.”
How are you beating the heat? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Take a look at what we’ve already been sent –– one viewer even made cookies on his car dashboard.