Australians on alert as temps rise

Last updated 15:39 10/01/2014

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South Australians have been urged to start taking precautions as very hot conditions are forecast for most of the state for a week.

Temperatures will surge into the 40s early next week and are  expected to remain there until Friday.

SA Ambulance Service operations team leader Bryan Ward says  prolonged periods of heat can exacerbate pre-existing medical conditions.

''We encourage people to start taking precautions in preparation  for the upcoming hot weather and to check on those who may be  vulnerable to the heat, such as elderly family members, elderly  neighbours and children,'' he said.

''We generally tend to notice an increase in workload at around  day four to five of a heatwave.''

Mr Ward said extra ambulance crews would be deployed if necessary.

SA Health said tips to beat the heat included drinking plenty of  water, avoiding alcohol and caffeine, wearing light, loose and  comfortable closing as well as a hat and sunscreen, staying out of the sun during the hottest part of the day and avoiding outdoor exercise or strenuous physical activity.

It said precautions to take before the heat included stocking up  on water and groceries to avoid constant trips to the shops,  testing any fans or air-conditioners that may not have been used  for some time and swapping phone numbers with a neighbour or friend  with a view to keeping in contact during the hot spell.

The State Emergency Service said the hot weather could also  bring a number of safety concerns including the risk of power cuts  and trees dropping branches without warning.

The extreme conditions will also have fire authorities on high  alert with police expected to instigate Operation Nomad patrols  which check on known firebugs.

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- AAP

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