B.C. encourages heat preparation, citing 4 deaths in Island Health last year

B.C. encourages heat preparation, citing 4 deaths in Island Health last year
The beach along Dallas Road in Victoria is pictured in this file photo.

The BC Coroners Service is encouraging residents to be prepared for extreme heat in the province, noting that four people died of heat-related causes in the Island Health region last year.

They were among 11 total deaths in the province related to heat in 2023, based on preliminary data from the coroners service.

All of the deaths occurred between May and August, with the majority, over 80 per cent, occurring in the months of July and August.

“Extreme heat can have devastating consequences,” said the BC Coroners Service in a statement Wednesday.

“In June and July 2021, 619 people died due to record-high temperatures in British Columbia.”

READ MORE: B.C. heat wave results in 16 deaths, one in Island Health: Coroner

The coroners service says that if unusually high temperatures sweep the province again this year, residents are encouraged to stay hydrated and avoid physical activities outdoors, visit cooling centres – like libraries and malls – and  never leave children or pets in cars.

British Columbians are also encouraged to check in on their family, friends, and neighbours, particularly if they are elderly.

Last year, roughly two-thirds of all heat-related deaths were among people over 60.

Of the 11 deaths, one occurred in someone under the age of 30, three deaths occurred in people aged 50 – 59, and the remaining seven occurred in people aged 60 or above.

The BC Coroners Service notes that the deaths for 2023 are preliminary, and that heat is the suspected cause of the deaths.

SEE ALSO: Forecasters warn B.C. of hot summer, as province offers more free air conditioners

June 26, 2024. (BC Coroners Service)

Adam ChanAdam Chan

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