How locals, and their pets, can stay safe in the heat over Memorial Day weekend

Local News

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Whenever it’s hot, it’s important to take a little extra time and effort to stay cool. The weekend’s forecast is just a taste of what’s to come as the summer months approach Central Virginia. 

People out and about Memorial Day weekend can expect warm temperatures throughout Central Virginia. The thought of enduring the heat without working air conditioning at home is a burden. 

“Majority of any of the service breakdowns are just from not taking care of your equipment,” said Chuck Seay of Short Pump Heating and Air, “not having it looked at on a regular basis.”

Seay recommends keeping filters clean and checking drain lines year-round. Mechanics encourage patience for drivers scrambling to get air conditioning repairs in vehicles. 

“Stop in, say a week before a major holiday or vacation plans and see if they can just run through like a real quick check, see if there’s something pick up on,” said Dave Stanard, a manager at One Stop Auto Service. 

People with pets should give them the same care humans need during a heat wave. 

“Make sure your pet has access to clean water all the time, make sure you’re not exercising them above normal exercise of what they’re used to,” Richmond Animal Care and Control Director Christie Chipps Peters told 8News. 

Peters is highly against leaving pets in hot cars. 

“If you’ve left your dog in a car and we find it and we break them free,” she said, “you’re going to get charged. And sadly, if your dog dies, that’s cruelty.”

The CDC says more than 600 people in the United States are killed by extreme heat each year. If your air conditioning isn’t working properly, try going to a public building with working air conditioning, drink plenty of water and wear light clothing. 

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